THE PRINTING PRESS 5
Beforethe invention of the press, printing was a tedious and expensiveventure. On top of that, various approaches were applied in theprinting process. Notable among them was the use of block method. Thetechnique required that the needed letters be carved on wood and thenput in ink before being pressed onto a piece of paper. However, thewood blocks could easily wear out and were only useful if the phraseson them were relevant (Deibert, 2013). The approach was quiteexpensive and time-consuming meaning that the spread of ideas wasslow. In fact, education was perceived to be for the rich. The lackof uniformity also affected the spread of ideas. Consequently,Johannes Gutenberg developed a method where letters were cast onmetal. The letters could then be pressed on paper while wet on ink(Marker, 2014). In this case, it was possible to print anything sincethe approach was fast and reliable. Fortunately, common people couldthen afford to buy printed information. Therefore, the innovation ofvarious printing processes led to the effectiveness of thedistribution of ideas, enhancing political movements, andtransforming the society since it was then easy to relay informationthrough printed sources.
TheSpread of New Ideas
Theprinting press made it cheap to print any relevant information. Themost renowned benefactors of this invention were scholars since theycould exchange information in their fields of interest. Moreover,anything written got an association with the author. The printingpress also became vital in the process of scientific revolution.Primarily, it led to the foundation of scholarly journals, which weredominated by scientists. Besides, once a scientist discoveredsomething, it could be featured in the journals (Crowley & Heyer,2015). On the whole, that did not only help spread the discoveryquickly but also led to other scientists changing their focus onresearch. Due to such coordination, there were many discoveries,which eventually resulted in the scientific revolution.
Furthermore,the levels of literacy were boosted in many parts of the worldthrough the printing press. In fact, in most areas where the printingtechnology was available, literacy was no longer a luxury, and anyonewho was interested could learn and become literate. The increasedlevels of literacy led the people to understand any new happening. Inthat case, the reading and writing abilities made the spread of ideasto be fast (Deibert, 2013). Therefore, in a small amount of time, anidea could spread to many people unlike in the past where it couldbecome obsolete before reaching them.
Moreover,printing press led to the widespread of native languages. One suchcasualty of the press was religion. The Catholic Church was the mainreligion in most parts of Europe. The church services were conductedin Latin. The press encouraged not only native languages but also atranslation of literature to those dialects. Eventually, there was achange where the services in the Catholic churches changed and wereconducted in native languages (Deibert, 2013). The ease with whichpeople could access and spread information was as a result of theinvention of printing methods. However, the translation of the Bibleand the rise of a movement questioning the Catholic Church led to itsbreak-up to other doctrines.
Theprinting press brought about the rapid spread of news. The activitiestaking place could be recorded and reported to the masses. One of theimpacts was that the people became aware of the excesses of theruling class. In fact, those who were aware of the happenings withthe ruling class could easily share with those who did not know(Crowley & Heyer, 2015). The result was that people could easilyrebel against such excesses and put in place those who could have theinterest of the poor. An example of the spread of political ideasthat led to a movement was the French Revolution.
Theenlightenment at the time, which was supported by the printing press,led the people to have radical and liberal ideas, which culminated inthe revolution. Nevertheless, the politicians also took advantage ofthe printing press. Printing of Pamphlets to gain support became acommon happening (Marker, 2014). There were also those politicianswho could spread their ideas printed on papers. Such thoughts helpedchange the scene so that those who did not have massive wealth couldget elective posts by showcasing their philosophies to theelectorate.
Thespread of education is the most profound changes that the printinghad on the society. Furthermore, it made the people understand manyaspects of their lives. Besides, it encouraged research in thescientific field, thus, leading to better lives than before.Subsequently, research was focused on the areas covered and wasshared through journals. The spread of knowledge also became part oflife due to this invention (Marker, 2014). There was also a rise inthe middle-class composed of people who held prime jobs.Additionally, it was a result of the spread of education to themajority. The outcome included improved living standards for manyfamilies.
Allin all, the printing press had an impact on almost all aspects oflife. The gains that are here today are as a result of the invention.Moreover, they vary in impact on the society depending on thesituation of the past life. Just like any technological advancement,many viewed this as a way of ending jobs. On the contrary, it createdmany jobs in the long-run. In addition to that, it led to the spreadof education and other ideas, which have positively impacted manylives.
Crowley,D., & Heyer, P. (2015). Communicationin history: Technology, culture, society.Boston, MA: Routledge.
Deibert,R. J. (2013). Parchment,printing, and hypermedia: Communication and world ordertransformation.Columbia: Columbia University Press.
Marker,G. (2014). Publishing,printing, and the origins of the intellectual life in Russia,1700-1800.New York, NY: Princeton University Press.