Johann Gutenberg And The Impact Of The Printing Press On Literacy

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In 1451, a goldsmith from Mainz, Germany, named Johann Gutenberg, came up with a novel way to print material much more efficiently and quickly than the scribes who were common at the time. His new method, called the printing press, featured movable type and served as the precursor to the mammoth presses used to print millions of newspapers, magazines, and books. His new methods made books more widely available throughout Europe, and they began to be published in the vernacular. This also contributed to the rapid spread of standardized, accurate information, which helped spread new ideas in both religious and secular matters. The printing press invented by Johann Gutenberg is one of the most impactful and influential inventions, an innovation …show more content…
Scientists created more accurate and detailed diagrams and sketches in the publications of their discoveries and experiments. This was because these scientists only had to draw these once, and then they were copied. They didn’t have to repeatedly draw the diagrams for every copy of their publications. (Printing Press and Its “Impact” on Literacy). In this way, accurate, complete scientific knowledge was perpetuated throughout Europe. Coupled with the power the printing press had in reaching people, scientific ideas could be spread to, and built upon, by other scientists. (The DBQ Project). One example of this is “the Polish scholar, Copernicus, [who] took advantage of printed works on astronomy and tables of data on planet movements to print his own book, arguing that the earth revolved around the sun.”(Gutenberg and the Printing Revolution in Europe). Also, the already fledgling Renaissance was aided by the ability of the printing press to spread information and make books available to all. One aspect that characterized the Renaissance was humanism, a renowned interest in the ancient Roman and Greek writings. The printing press was able to spread copies of works by ancient authors such as Homer, Aristotle, and Plato, and pique people’s interest in them.(The DBQ Project). Such movements grew to …show more content…
The Protestant Reformation could not have happened without the printing press. While Luther was a priest who knew Latin and could read the Bible and formulate his own opinion, he likely wouldn’t have challenged the Church if it hadn’t been in its weakened state. (The DBQ Project). His ideas would not have spread without the printing press- he printed “sermons, tracts and polemics, all in German [that] streamed from presses by the hundreds of thousands.”(DBQ Project). Luther also stimulated further use of the printing press because he thought that, to be a truly devout Christian, one must read and understand the Bible for themselves.
The printing press was one of the most influential inventions in the history of man. It has enabled diverse societal change, as well as diverse religious changes. It also benefited the economy of Europe. The printing press also still benefits us today whenever we pick up a book or newspaper. The printing press is more than an invention, it’s an important life-changer for so many people.
THE MODERN PRINTING PRESS

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