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Print Revolution and Its Impact

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Print Revolution and Its Impact - Lesson Summary

People used the print technology to freely spread their ideas which put fear on those in authority. Print could greatly affect the minds of people and influence them leading to debates and discussions. One such religious debate in 1517, by Martin Luther led to the division of the Roman Catholic church and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.

To prevent rise of rebellious ideas, the Roman Church imposed certain limitations on publishers and booksellers and began to maintain an Index of Prohibited Books from 1558.

By the end of the 18 th century, some parts of Europe had a high literacy rate. Peasants and artisans too could read. In England, travelling pedlars known as chapmen sold pocket sized books or chapbooks for a penny and so were commonly called penny chapbooks whereas in France, inexpensive books called ‘Biliotheque Bleue’ were sold to the poor. Scientists like Isaac Newton and philosophers like Thomas Paine, Voltaire started publishing their discoveries and ideas.

In 18 th century, people believed that books had the power to liberate society from despotism or absolute power. All these ideas from print paved way to debates and discussions and made people question the existing ideas and beliefs. This spread hostile sentiments against the monarchy.


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