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  • This review goes over the Renaissance, which is the time period in question.
  • For a video on the Reformation, which was enabled by the printing press, click here.
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The Printing Press 📚

  • The printing press's role in European history began in 1440, thanks to the work of Johannes Gutenberg. 
  • Previous methods of printing involved fixed words, making them far less effective.
  • With movable type, a publisher was able to reuse the same letters to rewrite any article or book.

Social Effects 👫

  • The circulation of more published materials increased literacy among the middle and upper classes. 
  • Social movements, religious rebellions, and political revolts all gained traction due to the printing of pamphlets. 

Religious Effects ⛪️

  • The very first book that was printed using the Gutenberg press was the Bible. Availability of the Bible, especially in vernacular languages, made interpretation of scripture accessible. This led to questioning of the Church's teachings.
  • Printing the Bible in local languages was restricted by the Church in the areas they controlled. Their failed attempts to prevent individual interpretation contributed to the Catholic Church's loss of unquestionable societal authority.

Educational Effects 📖

  • Academic endeavors in universities and centers of learning across the continent were aided by the press, which disseminated new ideas faster and intensified philosophical debates. 
  • As previously mentioned, literacy increased among the upper classes, who emphasized a Humanist education.
  • Printing presses also published Greek and Roman classical works, encouraging study and analysis of their ideas. 
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