Q1: Give reasons for the following:
(a) Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295.
Ans: The Italian explorer Marco Polo, upon visiting China, acquired knowledge of woodblock printing. When he returned to Italy in 1295, he brought this newfound knowledge with him, and over time, it disseminated from Italy to various parts of Europe.
Woodblock(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it.
Ans: In 1517, Martin Luther, a religious reformer, composed ninety-five theses critiquing the corrupt practices of the Catholic Church. He affixed these theses to the church door in Wittenberg. The rapid printing of thousands of copies of Luther's theses facilitated the widespread dissemination of his ideas, leading to the reformation movement and the eventual emergence of Protestantism. Luther was profoundly moved by the impact of printing on the spread of information.
Ninety Five Theses
(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of Prohibited Books from the mid-sixteenth century.
Ans:Print and popular literature played a role in fostering diverse interpretations of religious beliefs in the 16th century. Manocchio, a roller in Italy, encountered books readily available in his area, leading him to offer a new interpretation of the Bible and formulate views on God and creation that incited the Roman Catholic Church's anger. As a consequence, Manocchio faced two trials and was ultimately executed during the Roman Catholic Church's inquisition.
(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for the liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association.
Ans: Mahatma Gandhi expressed these sentiments in 1922, amid the Non-cooperation Movement (1920-22). According to him, a nation cannot survive without freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and the freedom of association. Gandhi emphasized that these liberties were crucial for a country to break free from foreign domination.
Formula of IndepenceQ2: Write short notes to show what you know about:
(a) The Gutenberg Press
(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book
(c) The Vernacular Press Act
(a) The Gutenberg Press:
Johannes Gutenberg, hailing from Strasbourg, is credited with inventing the Gutenberg Press, the first printing press in Europe. Growing up on a vast agricultural estate, he brought his knowledge and experience in operating olive and wine presses to the invention of the printing press around the year 1448. The Bible became the inaugural book to be printed using this revolutionary technology.
(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book:
Erasmus, the Latin scholar, expressed discontent with the proliferation of books through printing. He harbored concerns that the widespread circulation of books might disseminate rebellious ideas. While acknowledging the potential usefulness of a few books, Erasmus worried that the majority could be irrelevant or illogical, contributing to the spread of scandalous or irreligious ideas and, ultimately, inciting rebellion.
(c) The Vernacular Press Act:
The British government in India enacted the Vernacular Press Act in 1878. This legislation granted extensive censorship powers to the government over reports and editorials in the vernacular press. Any vernacular newspaper publishing seditious material faced the risk of being banned, and its printing machinery was subject to seizure and destruction.
Vernacular PressQ3: What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth-century India mean to:
(b) The poor
Women emerged as significant readers and writers as literacy rates improved. With a growing literacy, women developed a keen interest in reading and writing. Numerous journals underscored the importance of women's education, leading to the publication of magazines and books specifically tailored for women. The advent of print culture provided women with a degree of freedom to read and form their perspectives on various issues, particularly those concerning women.
(b) The poor
With the advancement of literacy rates in both Europe and India, printed materials, particularly for entertainment, became accessible to the economically disadvantaged. In England, 'penny magazines' distributed by peddlers were sold at an affordable cost, enabling even the poor to purchase them. For those unable to read, stories and folklore could be shared orally by others. Books were available for hire at a nominal fee from certain book owners. In 19th-century Madras towns in India, very inexpensive small books entered the market, providing a means for the poor to engage with print culture.
Reformers effectively utilized newspapers, journals, and books to spotlight social issues prevailing in society. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, for instance, published 'Sambad Kaumudi' to bring attention to the plight of widows. Starting in the 1860s, Bengali women writers like Kailashbashini Debi authored books shedding light on women's experiences, emphasizing issues such as women being confined to their homes, kept in ignorance, subjected to strenuous domestic labor, and treated unjustly by the men they served.
Q4: Why did some people in eighteenth-century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?
Q5. Why did some people fear the effect of easily available printed books? Choose one example from Europe and one from India.
Q6. What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth-century India?
Q7. Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.
|1. What is print culture and its significance in the modern world?
|2. How did the availability of printed books impact the growth of education?
|3. What were the challenges faced by the print industry during the modern period?
|4. How did the print culture contribute to the spread of nationalism during the modern period?
|5. What were the social and cultural changes brought about by print culture in the modern world?