Renaissance, along with developments like Reformation and Geographical Discoveries, is said to mark the beginning of the Modern Era in European, and also, World History.
Renaissance was not an event but a movement, the happening of which was realised only in course of time.
It was a slow cultural Revolution that had its impact on Literature, Art and Architecture. In all these fields there was the revival of classical aspects. Glory of Greece and Rome was realised. Their models were adopted. This gradually broke the monotony of medieval life. In the place of dullness of the religion-centred medieval life, there was greater literary and artistic activities. This encouraged at least some to think and to revolt wherever necessary.
The spurt of such activities at different places in Europe and their fast spread throughout Europe indicated how the people, especially the upper middle class,welcomed these.
Inventions like the (movable)printing methods helped the movement.
The changes that the historian sees in 16th and 17th century Europe, as compared to conditions in the 12th and 13th centuries(Dark Ages), are definitely the contribution of the Renaissance.