The most important consequence of the printing press was the spread of knowledge. Knowledge is the greatest aspect and power. Before Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, there was the development of language, writing with hieroglyphs, the alphabet and then printing. Scribes would write a book by hand from the dictation of a scholar. Most citizens were uneducated while few were well educated. Handwritten books were expensive, so only the rich could own them. But even the rich were not wise enough to read books themselves.
The methods of book- making were much quicker with the printing press. It allowed for fast, cheap labor, which made books available to almost all citizens In Document 1, it shows a group of men making a book. With uneducated men, labor was cheaper which made the price of books decrease tremendously. Because it took less time to make books, many could be produced. Shown in the top picture are two men working on a book. Without the printing press it would take years to complete just one book.
Those two men in the top picture look very scholarly compared to the men, in the picture below, who do not. Now with the printing press and books spreading throughout countries, people are becoming more aware of what is going on around them. People were also becoming more knowledgeable. In 1500 the printing press spread to lower elevation regions where more people lived (Shown in Document 2). Martin Luther was a monk and a scholar who wrote a document, the 95 Theses.
This document was about the wrong teachings of Catholic Church and he challenged them. In 95 Theses, there were two central beliefs-that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds. The printing press spread between people in different regions and was the opportunity of learning what was right and wrong of innovations. This document spread quickly in Germany in two weeks. Within a couple of months, entire Europe was aware of the 95 Theses.
Columbus’ letter announced the success of his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. This letter spread throughout Europe within the same year, 1493, and in some places 1497. Columbus’ letter provides observations of the native people’s culture and lack of weapons. “They are destitute of arms, which are entirely unknown to them, and for which they are not adapted; not on account of any bodily deformity, for they are well made, but because they are timid and full of terror. ” The natives were “fearful and timid.
. . ” Columbus declares that the land he discovered could easily be conquered by Spain. “For knowledge, too, is itself a power. ” –Sir Francis Bacon. The spread of knowledge throughout Europe was the most important consequence of the printing press. News was spread in Europe and people finally had the opportunity to learn about their surroundings. From the Bible being translated into many languages and the spread of the 95 Theses, the printing press was a huge step in processing books quicker.
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