How Print Press Stimulated Social and Political Change in Europe Introduction The invention of the printing press between 1446 and 1450 led to massive revolutions in the political and social arenas. In fact, the emergence of modernism is heavily attributed to the printing press…
People such as Martin Luther openly opposed the rule of the Roman Catholic Church. He argued that its acts went against the values of Christianity. In the political arena, people had the platform to voice out their political opinions. Wars and revolutions emerged because people realized that their leaders were either dictatorial or had propaganda agendas. The paper will discuss how the printing press stimulated social and political change in Europe. The Printing Press The printing press (movable type) was the indicator innovation in the early contemporary information technology. Between the years 1446 and 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced the first printing press in Mainz, Germany. In the following five decades, the technology was widely adopted across Europe. In the same period, the prices of book decreased by two thirds and this transformed the conditions of intellectual work and the ways in which ideas were distributed. Historians indicate that the printing press was one of the greatest inventions in the history of humanity.12 How Print Press Stimulated Social and Political Change in Europe The rise of modernism is attributed to the invention of the printing press and the spread of literacy throughout Europe. ...
crucial in the success of modernism in the West.3 It is important to note that before the printing press invention, owning a Bible or any other book was a rare feat. As the printing presses proliferated, so did the Bibles and other books. These books became increasingly available to the population, thus the information accessible and available to individuals increased rapidly. Consequently, it encouraged the development of literacy. In the 17th century, political pamphlets and technical literature, storybooks and novels, as well as commentaries on religious matters and the Bible became very common. Magazines and newspapers began appearing in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the levels of literacy were well spread enough to develop a market for cheap press. It is during this time that advertising found its place in the market.4 The printing press created significant changes in the economic, political, and social spheres. It increased the speed and reduced the costs of reproduction. Printing press made the dissemination of ideas much easier. Manuscripts and books ceased to be isolated to a particular group (monarchs) in the society, and became accessible and available to most people in the society. Thus, they started serving as important forums for public discussion. Happening at a period of political and religious turmoil, the printing press presented the European monarchs with both an economic opportunity and political threat. The development of the law of copyright was to deal with this threat and take advantage of the opportunity presented.5 Direct censorship was the viable means for confronting the political threat coming from the printing press. It also muffled the printing industry and consequently limited the economic benefits of the government from the ...
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