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The 16th century in Europe was a great century of change. The humanists and artists of the Renaissance would help characterize the age as one of individualism and self-creativity. Humanists such as Petrarch helped restore the dignity of mankind while men like Machiavelli injected humanism into politics. When all is said and done, the Renaissance helped to secularize European society. 
  1. In the meantime, urbanization continued unabated as did the growth of universities.
  2. The century witnessed the growth of royal power, the appearance of centralized monarchies and the discovery of new lands.
  3. The year 1543 can be said to have marked the origin of the Scientific Revolution, with Copernicus publishing De Revolutionibus and setting in motion a wave of scientific advance.
  4. The very powerful notion that man makes his own history and destiny took root.


Solution

The correct option is D The very powerful notion that man makes his own history and destiny took root.

The paragraph given starts stating that the 16th century was a great century of change in Europe. Though this statement is not specific about what change it is referring to, we see that the rest of the paragraph centers on humanism, talking of individualism, self creativity , dignity of mankind and secularization of the European society. So the correct answer option should relate to the same idea.
Option A talks of the year 1543 heralding the Scientific Revolution. This is not the correct sentence to complete the given paragraph as it does not relate to humanism.
Option B discusses the growth of royal power and centralized monarchies at this time. Again, we can rule out this option, as it does not relate to humanism (human interests, values and dignity) in the 16th century.
Option C clearly is the correct option. The very powerful notion that man creates his own history and destiny took root in the 16th century. This carries forward the idea discussed in the rest of the paragraph.
Option D discusses urbanization and the growth of universities. This is unrelated to the central idea of the given paragraph.

Correct Answer: Choice (c)

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