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The Printing Press Essay

896 words - 4 pages

Throughout history, there have been countless inventions that dramatically changed the human way of life. Among these inventions is the printing press. The printing press, invented by Johannes Gutenberg, played an essential role in the rebirth of education and knowledge that pulled Europe out of the dark ages and indirectly led to many of the academic ideas and advancements of recent times. Without the press Gutenberg created, our world might still be in the dark ages with the church having a near monopoly on literacy and knowledge
Before the mid 15th century, when the press was unveiled, books were expensive and elusive objects. Every single book had to be written by hand, usually by monks, ...view middle of the document...

It is often debated between what happened in the later years of Gutenberg’s life. Some sources argue that Gutenberg died in complete poverty (Lakeside Publishing Group 3). Others state that he was able to open and run print shops into the later years of his life, and that he died in a less impoverished state than originally thought (Hellmut 1).
Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press not only played an immense role in the end of the dark ages, but also in the start of the age of information that we enjoy today. As Gutenberg began to develop his printing press, the renaissance was also beginning to develop. Gutenberg's press allowed for the more widespread distribution of ideas and thinking, as well as classical Greek and Roman thought that played a huge role in the end to the dark ages. The Protestant Reformation also can thank the printing press, as Martin Luther's ideas could never have spread so efficiently without it (Lakeside Publishing Group 2). Also, during the Enlightenment, the press was used to promote the many new schools of thought and incite people to revolution, such as in "Common Sense", by Thomas Paine which highlighted the need for the American colonies to stand up to England and fight for independence. Not only did Gutenberg’s press spread ideas, it also spread literacy and the desire for knowledge. The press could print up to 30 pages per hour, a monumental step forward from the tedious and slow hand copying that monks had done previously (Lakeside Publishing Group 3). This drastically lowed the rarity and cost of books, turning...

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