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Print Revolution In Europe

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The printing industry has been around for hundreds of years. It originated in the city of Mainz in Germany in the 1390’s. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, who started the printing revolution, was the owner of a few print shops. He travelled to Strasburg, where he set up another print shop in 1428 and ran it until 1444. In 1448 he returned to Mainz, where he printed his bible 8 years later. He lost his shop in 1456, when his loaner, Johann Fust, sued him for misusing the money loaned. The court ruled in favor of Fust, effectively making Gutenberg bankrupt. (who was he, what was his job). He was instrumental in the rise of the industry in its early stages. Although it is now a well established method of communication in modern society, when it was just beginning, it was seen as a major change in the way ideas were shared among society. The spread of print into Europe did constitute a revolution because it led to an increase in literacy among the european population, helped facilitate the protestant reformation and the scientific revolution, and also allowed authors, booksellers and publishers to gain power and influence.

The first print machine was located in Mainz. Soon after, printing started to expand outside of Mainz, because of money and an idea now known as monopoly. Monopoly means being the sole owner of a good or service. Being the only print shop in a city means the owner of that shop holds a monopoly, which means he makes the most money.

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Before the 1390s, many people in Europe’s lower social classes did not know how to read. Even among aristocratic and royal families, scholars were hired to help with reading, since it was not thought to be a useful enough skill to learn. However, once the printing industry began growing, people began to regard reading as a skill necessary for one to succeed in modern society. Someone who know how to read had more opportunities to find a job and were less likely to be taken advantage of by a landlord or boss. Need two more sentences here–find stats on how many people in Europe could read before printing and after printing.

The rise of the print industry influenced two major societal movements in 16th century Europe: the protestant reformation and the scientific revolution. The protestant reformation was an important religious occurrence which was initially aimed at reforming the beliefs and practices of the roman catholic church. One of the important leaders of the movement was Martin Luther, who believed that (include two sentences on what Luther believed). Luther and other leaders were able to use the print revolution to their advantage. They would print pamphlets detailing their beliefs and disseminate them to the general public, thereby gaining more and more support among the European population.

The scientific revolution is (one sentence describing scientific revolution). Two sentences describing how rise of print impacted it–mention science books from outline. Due to the massive increase in the print industry, a new job was created, authoring. Being an author was more of a hobby before the printing era. When book writers started to put their names on their works, the common population started to take notice on who the good authors were and who the not so good authors were. Some of the good authors were Desiderius Erasmus, who was a best-selling author, Martin Luther, who started the protestant reformation and many others. Books back then were called Incunabula(Sing. Incunabulum), if they were printed before 1501. The latin language dominated the incunabula era as 77% of all incunabula were written in latin. The next closest language was Italian at 7%. 45% of all incunabula was religious text, with the next closest category being other at 33%.

The books in the other category were

In addition to increasing literacy and positively impacting social movements of the times, the introduction of print into europe also resulted in authors, booksellers, and printers gaining significant power which resulted in an important and influential industry. This industry played an important role in shaping European society. Authors never used to make much money before the introduction of texts with authors. However, once authors were able to take ownership of the texts they wrote, they were able to gain monetary wealth and fame. Ciceronianus, written by Desiderius Erasmus in 1528, described the Include one sentence about a book published by a famous author during this time. Authors started to make even more money by selling or renting the rights to their works due to the introduction of copyright, which is a simpler way of saying authors have individual rights over their intellectual property.

The revolution in printing was started by Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg. This led to a multitude of jobs being created.


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