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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 - Print Culture and the Modern World

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.
WoodblockWoodblock(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 ThesesNinety 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 IndepenceFormula 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
Ans:
(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 PressVernacular PressQ3: What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth-century India mean to:
(a) Women
(b) The poor
(c) Reformers
Ans: 
(a)
Women
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. 

Rashundari DeviRashundari Devi

(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.

(c)
Reformers
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?
Ans: 

  • Spreading of new ideas: After the coming of the print culture, the ideas of scientists and philosophers now became more accessible to the common people. Ancient and medieval scientific texts were compiled and published.
  • Scientific discoveries: Maps and more accurate scientific diagrams were widely printed. When scientists like Issac Newton began to publish their discoveries, they could influence a much wider circle of scientifically-minded readers.
  • Writings of scholars: The writings of thinkers such as Thomas Paine, Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau were also widely printed, and could gain popularity. Thus, their ideas about science, reasoning and rationality found their way into popular literature.
  • Books as a medium of progress: By the mid-18th century, books became a medium of spreading progress and enlightenment which could change society and the world. It was also believed that the books could literate society from despotism and tyranny.
  • Ideas of enlightened thinkers: The print popularised the ideas of the enlightened thinkers like that of Martin Luther who attacked the authority of the Church and the despotic power of the state, e.g., Voltaire and Rousseau.
  • A new culture of dialogue and debate: The print created a new culture of dialogue and debate and the public, became aware of reasoning and recognized the need to question the existing ideas and beliefs.


Q5. Why did some people fear the effect of easily available printed books? Choose one example from Europe and one from India.
Ans: 

  • Not everyone welcomed the printed books and those, who did, also had fear about them. Many were of the opinion that printed words and the wider circulation of books, would have a negative impact on people’s minds. They feared that if there was no control over what was printed and read, then rebellious and irreligious thoughts might gain importance. There was also fear in the minds of scholars that the authority of ‘valuable’ literature would be destroyed. The new print was criticized by religious authorities, monarchs, as well as by writers and artists.
  • Let us consider the implication of this in one sphere of life in early modern Europe, i.e., religion. Martin Luther was a German monk, priest, professor, and Church reformer. In 1517, he wrote Ninety Five Theses and openly criticised many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. A printed copy of this was pasted on a Church door in Wittenberg. It challenged the Church to debate his ideas. Luther’s writings were immediately copied in vast numbers and read widely. This led to a division within the Church and led to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Manx; conservative FUndus believed that a literate girl would be widowed and Muslims believed that educated women could get corrupted by reading Urdu romances. There were many instances of women defying this prohibition.


Q6. What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth-century India?
Ans:  

  • Public libraries : The print reached to the poor in the 19th century. Publishers started producing small and cheap books. These books were sold at crossroads. Public libraries were set up by the Christian missionaries and the rich people.
  • Highlighting the issue of class discrimination : From the late 19th century, many writers started writing about the issue of class distinction.
    • Jyotiba Phule was a social reformer. He wrote about the poor condition of ‘low caste’. In his book Gulamgiri (1871), he wrote about the injustices of the caste system.
    • In the 20th century, B.R. Ambedkar also wrote powerfully against the caste system. He also wrote against untouchability.
    • E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, also known as Periyar, too wrote about the caste system prevailing in Madras (Chennai). The writings of these writers were read by people all over India. Local protest movements and sects also created a lot of popular journals and tracts criticising ancient scriptures with a view to creating new and just future.
  • Poor workers and the print : Workers in factories were too overworked, and thus, lacked the education to write about their expectations and experiences. But Keshibaba, a Kanpur mill worker wrote and published Chhote Aur Bade Ka Sawal in 1938 to depict the links between caste and class exploitation. The poems of another Kanpur mill worker, who wrote under the name of Sudarshan Chakra between 1935 and 1955, were brought together, and published in a collection called Sacchi Kavitayain. By the 1930s, Bangaluru cotton mill workers set up libraries to educate themselves. By doing so, they were following the example of Bombay (Mumbai) workers. These libraries were sponsored by social reformers who tried to restrict excessive drinking among the poor, to bring literacy and, sometimes, to propagate the message of nationalism.


Q7. Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.
Ans:

  • New ideas and debates : There were many who criticised the existing practices and campaigned for reforms, while others countered the arguments of the reformers. These debates were carried out openly in public and in print. Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread the new ideas, but they also shaped the nature of the debate. All this assisted the growth of nationalism.
  • Connecting various communities : Print did not only stimulate the publication of conflicting opinions amongst communities, but it also connected communities and people living in different parts of India. Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another, creating pan-Indian identities.
  • Print and newspaper : Despite repressive measures, nationalist newspapers grew in numbers in all parts of India. They reported on colonial misrule and encouraged nationalist activities. When Punjab revolutionaries were deported in 1907, Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote with great sympathy about them in Kesari.
  • Various novels on national history: Many novels written by Indian novelists like Bankim’s Anandamath created a sense of pan-Indian belonging. Munshi Premchand’s novel, Godan highlighted how Indian peasants were exploited by the colonial bureaucrats.
  • Various images of Bharatmata : Printers like Raja Ravi Verma and Rabindranath Tagore produced images of Bharatmata which produced a sense of nationalism among Indians. The devotion to mother figure came to be seen as evidence of one’s nationalism.
The document NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 - Print Culture and the Modern World is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 - Print Culture and the Modern World

1. What is print culture and its significance in the modern world?
Ans. Print culture refers to the practices, beliefs, and values associated with the production, distribution, and consumption of printed material. It includes the development of printing technology, the rise of newspapers, books, and other printed materials, and their impact on society. Print culture played a crucial role in disseminating ideas, spreading knowledge, and facilitating communication during the modern period. It led to the spread of literacy, the formation of public opinion, and the emergence of new social and political movements.
2. How did the availability of printed books impact the growth of education?
Ans. The availability of printed books revolutionized the education system. It made books more accessible and affordable, enabling a wider population to acquire knowledge and education. The printing press made it easier to produce multiple copies of books, leading to a rapid increase in the availability of educational materials. This, in turn, contributed to the growth of literacy rates and the democratization of education. Printed books became essential tools for teachers and students, facilitating the learning process and promoting intellectual development.
3. What were the challenges faced by the print industry during the modern period?
Ans. The print industry faced several challenges during the modern period. One major challenge was censorship imposed by the ruling authorities. Governments and religious institutions often sought to control the flow of information by banning or censoring certain publications. Another challenge was competition from other forms of media, such as radio and television, which emerged as popular alternatives to printed materials. Additionally, technological advancements and changes in printing techniques posed challenges for traditional printing presses, requiring them to adapt to new methods and technologies.
4. How did the print culture contribute to the spread of nationalism during the modern period?
Ans. Print culture played a significant role in the spread of nationalism during the modern period. Nationalist leaders and thinkers utilized printed materials, such as newspapers, pamphlets, and books, to disseminate their ideas and mobilize support for the nationalist cause. Print media helped create a sense of shared identity, common history, and collective pride among people belonging to the same nation. It facilitated the exchange of ideas and information across regions, thereby fostering a sense of unity and solidarity among nationalists.
5. What were the social and cultural changes brought about by print culture in the modern world?
Ans. Print culture brought about significant social and cultural changes in the modern world. It led to the spread of literacy, making education and knowledge more accessible to the masses. This, in turn, contributed to the rise of a more informed and critical society. Print media also played a crucial role in shaping public opinion, influencing social and political movements, and fostering the growth of a public sphere. It facilitated the exchange of ideas, challenged traditional beliefs, and promoted intellectual and cultural development. Additionally, print culture contributed to the development of a standardized language and the preservation of literary and historical works.
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