1. China, Japan, and Korea were among the first countries to develop print technology. This was a method of hand printing that included rubbing paper against inked woodblocks.
  2. Because China had a bureaucratic system, the imperial state sponsored the printing of a large number of textbooks for civil service examinations.
  3. The new reading culture was accompanied by a new technology by the seventeenth century. In the late 1800s, western printing techniques and mechanical presses were imported. Shanghai became the centre of the new print culture, with a progressive transition away from hand printing and toward mechanical printing.


Buddhist missionaries brought hand-printing techniques to Japan from China circa AD 768-770.

The Buddhist Diamond Sutra, which was printed in AD 868 and featured six pages of text and woodcut pictures, is the oldest Japanese book.


  1. In the eleventh century, Chinese paper made its way to Europe via the silk routes. Paper made it feasible for scribes to create meticulously written documents. After several years of research in China, Marco Polo, a brilliant explorer, returned to Italy in 1295. He returned with the technology of woodblock printing.
  2. Woodblocks were frequently employed in Europe by the early fifteenth century to print fabrics, playing cards, and religious images with basic, brief phrases.
  3. In the 1430s, Johann Gutenberg invented the first known printing press in Strasbourg, Germany.


Gutenberg perfected the printing technology in 1448. The Bible was the first book he printed.

A total of 180 copies were printed, which took three years to complete. Between 1450 and 1550, printing presses were established in most European countries. As a result, printed books began to overwhelm European markets. The print revolution began with the transition from manual to mechanical printing.


People’s lives were affected by the printing revolution, which affected their relationships with information and knowledge, as well as institutions and authorities.


With the invention of the printing press, a new reading public arose. The cost of books was reduced as a result of printing.

The availability of books produced a new reading culture. Books could now reach out to a broader audience.

Those who did not read learned to appreciate hearing books read aloud. As a result, printers began to produce popular ballads and folktales. As a result, printed material began to be passed down orally.


Print ushered in a new era of debate and discourse. Many people were concerned about the impact that increased access to the printed word and increased book circulation might have on people’s minds.

They were concerned that if there was no supervision over what was printed and read, rebellious and irreligious ideas would grow.

In his book Ninety-Five Theses, Christian reformer Martin Luther criticised many of the Roman Catholic Church’s traditions and ceremonies. The church was challenged by the book to discuss Luther’s ideas. This eventually resulted in split within the church and the start of the Protestant Reformation.


Menocchio, an Italian miller, reinterpreted the Bible’s meaning and constructed a perspective of God and Creation in the sixteenth century. The Roman Catholic Church was enraged. He was discovered twice and executed in the end.

Concerned about the effects of popular readings on religion, the Roman Church imposed strict controls on publishers and booksellers, and began to keep an Index of Prohibited Books in 1558.


  1. Village schools were established by churches of various denominations to teach literacy to peasants and artisans. New types of popular literature were published, each aimed towards a different audience:
  2. Small books, almanacks or ritual calendars, songs, and folktales were sold by pedlars in villages. In England, chapbooks were sold for a penny, making them affordable to the poor. Small books for the poor were printed cheaply in France’s “Biliotheque Bleue.”
  3. Information was distributed through periodicals, newspapers, and journals. The ideas of scientists and philosophers were made available to the general public. Thinkers like Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s writings were widely printed and read.


Books had become a tool of disseminating progress and knowledge by the mid-eighteenth century. Many people felt that books had the power to transform the world, to free civilization from dictatorship and tyranny


Several historians have claimed that print culture shaped the circumstances in which the French Revolution took place.

Enlightenment thinkers’ ideas were popularised through print. It also inspired a new discourse and debating culture. By the 1780s, there had been a flood of literature mocking and criticising the monarchy’s morality.

The monarchy was shown to be enjoying themselves while the common people suffered massive hardships in cartoons and caricatures. Although print did not directly shape their thoughts, it did provide them with the opportunity to think in new ways.


Children, women, and labourers began to read in vast numbers as education spread across Europe in the 19th century.


Children were popular readers as early as the late 1800s, when primary schooling became mandatory. Youngsters’s presses were established in France in 1857 to meet the growing demand for books among children.

After years of collecting folk tales from peasants, the Grimm Brothers in Germany published their collection of traditional folk tales in 1812. Women gained prominence as readers and writers. Penny publications, as well as guides promoting correct behavior and housekeeping, were aimed specifically at women.

Women such as Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, and others were well-known novelists. They displayed woman in a new light: as a person with willpower, personality strength, determination, and the ability to think.


The press was eventually built of metal in the late 18th century. There were other developments in print technology throughout the nineteenth century.

Richard M. Hoe of New York perfected the power-driven cylindrical press during the mid-nineteenth century. This printer could produce 8,000 sheets per hour.

The offset press, which could print up to six colours at once, was invented in the late 1800s. Electrically controlled presses have been used to speed up printing operations since the start of the twentieth century.


Handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and other vernacular languages had a long and successful history in India.

Manuscripts were handwritten or copied on palm leaves. There were a number of issues with these papers. Even after the arrival of print in the late 1800s, they continued to be created.


The first printing press arrived in Goa in the mid-16th century with Portuguese missionaries.

Jesuit priests studied Konkani and published a number of tracts in the language. In the Konkani and Kannada languages, roughly 50 volumes had been printed by 1674. First Malayalam and Tamil books were printed by Catholic priests.

James Augustus Hickey started editing the Bengal Gazette, a weekly periodical published by Gangadhar Bhattacharya, in 1780.


  1. In the nineteenth century, the issue of religious reform became a hot topic. Widow immolation, monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood, and religion were all hot topics throughout the arguments. The Hindu orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to counter Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s beliefs, which he published in 1821.
  2. Jami-e-Jahan Nausor and Shamsu/ Akbar, two Persian newspapers, were first published in 1822. In the same year, the Gujarati newspaper Bombay Samachar was published.
  3. To resist the colonial power’s activities, the Muslims employed low-cost lithographic presses to print Persian and Urdu versions of holy writings.
  4. In 1867, the Deoband Seminary was established. It issued tens of thousands of fatwas advising Muslim leaders on how to conduct themselves in daily life and clarifying Islamic doctrines.
  5. Print fostered the reading of religious books among Hindus as well, particularly in vernacular languages. In 1810, Calcutta published the first printed copy of Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas, a sixteenth-century book.
  6. Various religious works in vernaculars were produced by the Naval Kishore Press in Lucknow and the Sri Venkateshwar Press in Bombay beginning in the 1880s.


Novels, lyrics, short stories, and essays addressing social and political issues were among the new literary forms that entered the world of reading. Human lives and intimate feelings were highlighted, as well as the geopolitical rules that shaped them.

Visual pictures could be easily duplicated in many copies by the end of the nineteenth century. Images for mass distribution were created by painters like Raja Ravi Varma. Caricatures and drawings criticising educated Indians’ love with western tastes and attire were published in magazines and newspapers by the 1870s.

The bazaar’s cheap posters and calendars began to shape views about modernity and tradition, religion and politics, and society and culture.


Writers began to focus on the lives and emotions of women. As a result, the society underwent various modifications. Conservative Hindus believed that a literate female would be widowed, but Muslims feared that reading Urdu would corrupt educated women.

Women’s works began to appear in journals, along with explanations of why women should be educated. Conservative Hindus and Muslims, on the other hand, were opposed to women’s education.

Rashsundari Debi, a young married girl from an extremely traditional family in East Bengal, published her memoirs in the early nineteenth century. Amar Jiban is a Bengali novel that was first published in 1876.

A few Bengali women, such as Kailashbashini Debi, started writing books in the 1860s that focused on women’s experiences. Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai wrote about upper-caste Hindu women, particularly widows, in the 1880s.

Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein, a literary figure and an educationist, sharply attacked men for denying women education in 1926.

While Urdu, Tamil, Bengali, and Marathi print cultures were well established at the time, Hindi printing did not take off until the 1870s. Soon, a significant portion of it was devoted to women’s education.

Journals from the early twentieth century explored topics such as women’s education, widowhood, widow remarriage, and the national movement.

Ram Chadd released the popular lstri Dharm Vichar in Punjab to teach ladies how to be dutiful wives. The Khalsa Tract Society printed inexpensive books on the characteristics of a great lady. Battala publications were delivered to women’s houses by peddlers, allowing them to read them in their spare time.


Since the early’ century, public libraries have been established for the needy. Issues of caste discrimination began to be written about in printed tracts and essays in the late nineteenth century.

Jyotiba Phule’s Gulamgiri revealed the low caste’s ill-treatment. Dr. Ambedkar and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker attacked untouchability with forceful writings. Kashibaba’s Chhote Aur Bade Ka Sava revealed the abuse of caste and class.

Sachchi Kavitayan was published by Sudarshan Chakra. These booklets, which focused on poverty people’s exploitation, were widely distributed throughout India. Social reformers used print to help disadvantaged employees.


  1. The Calcutta Supreme Court imposed various restrictions to control press freedom in the 1820s, and the company began pushing the creation of journals that praised British rule.
  2. Governor-General Bentinck agreed to alter the press laws in 1835. A liberal colonial administrator, Thomas Macaulay, developed new rules and restored past powers.
  3. The Vernacular Press Act was established in 1878. The East India Company was a staunch opponent of the ‘local’ press’s freedom. It wished to suffocate it.
  4. The colonial authorities began researching measures of strict control as vernacular newspapers became more nationalist. It gave the government the power to censor Vernacular Press stories and commentaries.
  5. They exposed colonial mismanagement and inspired nationalist activity, which eventually led to protests. When Punjab revolutionaries were deported in 1907, Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote about them in his Kesari with tremendous sympathy. This resulted in his arrest in 1908, which sparked massive protests across India.

NCERT Solved Question Answer CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 07 – Print Culture and the Modern World

Question. 1

Give reasons for the following :

(a) Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295.

Answer : Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295 due to the following reasons:

  1. China, Japan, and Korea were the first places to come up with a system for printing by hand.
  2. From AD 594 on, books were made in China by rubbing paper, which was also made there, on the inked surface of woodblocks.
  3. A famous explorer named Marco Polo went to China to do research.
  4. In 1295, he went back to Italy, taking this information with him.
  5. From Italy, this technology spread to the rest of Europe.
  6. The spread of print culture was also helped by people who preached about religion.
  7. On the other hand, luxury editions were still written by hand on vellum for aristocrats and wealthy monastic libraries, who looked down on printed books as cheap and vulgar. Merchants and college students in college towns bought cheaper printed copies.
  8. As the need for books grew, woodblock printing became more and more popular.
  9. By the early 1400s, simple, short phrases were often printed on textiles, playing cards, and religious artwork in Europe using woodblocks.

(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it.

Because the printing press gave him the chance to say bad things about many of the Roman Catholic Church’s rituals and traditions.

(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of Prohibited Books in the mid-sixteenth century.

Answer : Print and popular literature supported many different ways of understanding religious doctrines and ideas. In the 1600s, Manocchio, an Italian miller, started reading books that were easy to find in his area. He upset the Roman Catholic Church by putting a new spin on the Bible and coming up with a new idea about God and how the world was made. So, Manocchio was arrested twice and then killed when the Roman Church started the Inquisition to stop people from thinking about therapy. After this, publishers and bookstores had to follow a number of rules. In 1558, the Roman Church decided to keep an index of books that were not allowed to be read.

(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press and freedom of association.

Answer : In 1922, during the Non-Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi said these things: (1920-1922). He thinks that no country can survive without freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. To break away from foreign control, the country needed these freedoms. There can’t be nationalism without freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to join groups. These three things must happen for nationalism to stay alive. Mahatma Gandhi understood this very well. That’s why he talked so much about these three freedoms. Without these three things, one couldn’t even think about nationalism.

Question. 2

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.

Answer :

  • The Gutenberg Press:
  1. Gutenberg made it by using the tools and methods that were available at the time.
  2. He made the printing press look like an olive press, and he used moulds to make the letters of the alphabet out of metal.
  3. By 1448, he had improved his method. Gutenberg made metal types for each of the 26 letters in the Roman alphabet.
  4. He came up with a way to move them around so that different words from the text could be made. From this came the moveable type printing machine.
  5. During the next 300 years, it was the main way to print.
  6. On one side, the Gutenberg press could print 250 sheets an hour.
  7. The Bible was the first book he ever printed. It took three years to print 180 copies, but that was fast for the time.
  • Erasmu’s idea of the printed book : Erasmus was a reformer of the Catholic Church and a scholar of Latin. He scolded Catholicism for going too far. He, on the other hand, stayed away from Luther and didn’t join his movement against the church. He was worried about mass printing because he thought that some of the books might be useful, but that most of the writings were slanderous, scandalous, rambling, not religious, and against the government. There are so many of these bad books that even valuable books lose their worth. Because of this, he was against printing books.
  • The Vernacular Press Act :
    Before 1857, the East India Company paid for newspapers to be printed.
  • During William Bentinck’s rule, Thomas Macaulay made new rules that gave the press back its freedoms.
  • After 1857, the Indian press started to spread a lot of information, which helped wake people up.
  • The local press started to sound more nationalistic. The way the press treated the Englishmen made them very angry, and they asked that the vernacular press be limited. Under these conditions, the Vernacular Press Act was passed in 1878. It was based on the Irish Press Laws. It gave the government a lot of power to limit what the alternative press could report and say. This Act hurt the freedom of the press, and the vernacular press was tightly controlled. When a newspaper story was thought to be seditious, for example, the paper was given a warning. If the warning was ignored, the press and printing equipment could be taken away. Even though this strategy was meant to limit nationalist publications, the number of nationalist magazines grew all over the country. They kept talking about how bad the British government was in India and helped nationalists.

Question. 3

What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth-century India mean to :

(a) Women

(b) The poor

(c) Reformers

Answer :

Women: India’s women benefited greatly from the rise of print culture in the 1800s.

  • Writers started to write about women’s lives and feelings in a more direct and passionate way.
  • In middle-class homes, women’s reading increased a lot.
  • Liberal fathers and husbands started teaching their daughters at home. When women’s schools started up after the middle of the nineteenth century, their parents sent them to school so they could learn.
  • Journals had articles about how important it was for women to get an education. On occasion, a home-schooling curriculum and suggested readings were made. As a result, print culture helped raise women’s status in society. Some of them wrote autobiographies and books about themselves. Rashsundari Debi, for example, wrote and published her autobiography, Amar Jiban, in 1876. Women writers such as Kailashbashini Debi (Bengal), Tarabai Shinde (Maharashtra), and Pandita Ramabai (Maharashtra) were well-known. On the other hand, conservative Hindus thought that a literate girl would be widowed. Muslims also worried that reading Urdu romances would turn educated women bad.
  • Women started writing about what had happened to them. From the 1860s on, a few Bengali women, like Kailashbashini Debi, wrote novels about how hard it was for women to stay at home and do hard domestic work while being treated unfairly by the people they were supposed to serve.
  • In 1880, in what is now Maharashtra, Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai wrote passionately about how bad things were for Hindu women of high caste.
  • In Hindi, too, women’s education took up a big part of the printing industry.

The poor: The impoverished were greatly aided by print culture in the following ways:

  • In Madras towns in the 1800s, very cheap little books were taken to the markets and sold at crossroads, so poor people who were going to the markets could buy them.
  • Starting in the early 1900s, public libraries were set up to make it easier for people to get books. Most of these libraries were in cities and towns, but a few were in wealthy villages as well. Rich people in the area could make a name for themselves by starting a library.
  • Since the late 1800s, people have been treated unfairly because of their caste. For example, Jyotiba Phule, a Maratha who started the first “low caste” protests, wrote about the unfairness of the caste system in his book Gulamgiri (1871).
  • Social reformers tried to stop them from drinking too much so that they would read more and sometimes spread the idea of nationalism.

Reformers: Reformers used newspapers, journals, and books to call attention to the problems in society at the time. Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote the Sambad Kaumudi to draw attention to the situation of widows.

In the 1860s, many Bengali women writers, like Kailashbashini Debi, started writing about how men kept women locked up at home, kept them from learning, made them do hard housework, and treated them badly.

In the 1880s, Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai, both from what is now Maharashtra, wrote angrily about the situation of upper-caste Hindu women, especially widows. Tamil writers also complained about the position of women.

Jyotiba Phule was a social change activist. He wrote about the “low caste” and how hard their lives were. In his book Gulamgiri, he wrote about the bad things about the caste system (1871). B.R. Ambedkar, who lived in the twentieth century, wrote very strongly against the caste system. He also spoke out against being untouchable.

Periyar, whose real name is E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, also wrote about Madras’ caste system (Chennai).

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top

get all notes now!

Now you can get all notes as PDF or Printed Book. Get them now for fast revision and better marks in exams