Major Technological Changes During The Period From The 15th Century To The End Of The Civil War Era

1547 words - 7 pages

Followed by the invention of paper in ancient China 105 A.D., the development of human civilization has been involved in the revolution of information. From the first codex which was written on the parchment and emerged in the fourth century AD to the most recent Twitter on the Internet, the mediums of sharing the information have experienced an earthshaking change. Indeed, the innovation of technology has played a significant role in the development of mass media. The following essay will discuss the major media trends which were led by the invention of new technology and how exactly a new technology would create a restructuring of political and economic system during the period of mid-fifteenth century to the end of the Civil War in America.
According to the textbook, the author Starr introduced the developmental path in American mass communication, which started with the postal service and newspaper publishing, then the development of telegraph and telephone, later the advent of movies, broadcasting, and the whole repertoire of mass communication (Starr p. 3). It was clear that each turning point in the path of development of mass communication was involved with the innovation of a new technology which included the invention of the movable metal printing in mid-1450s AD leading the publishing of manuscript and books, the development of canals, railroad and stereotyping technology contributing the delivery of the new presses in the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the advent of the electric telegraph in the 1840s brought the spreading of timely news into a new phase in the history of communications.
In the mid-1450s AD, Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable metal typing, which directly established the commercial organization of printing as well as a capitalist framework in the book trade. According to the first lecture note, before the time of Gutenberg, the rise of hand-made manuscripts created a commercial condition for the printing. However, the emergence of the movable type system has a quicker production process compared with the duration of hand-made manuscript or wood block printing because of the efficiency of limited English alphabets. Therefore, the Gutenberg technology contributed to create the commercial platform for publishing and represented the advent of capitalism. According to the textbook chapter one, Starr illustrated that the religious ideas became the essential intention for the spread of print culture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During that period, the printers would eliminate the problem of the very large and cumbersome sizes of the manuscripts by replacing with a more portable and readable size of the books (Starr p 26). Starr also stated “By the 1500s, Protestant leaders regarded the printing press as a means of propagating the truth and created their own presses to disseminate their beliefs; theirs was the first transformative movement in history spread, to a large extent, through the...

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