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The Printing Press and How It Shaped Our Modern World

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The Printing Press and how it shaped our modern world
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Introduction to the Humanities
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Date 05/14/2011

Prior to 1440 everything read in Europe was copied by hand or copied from wooden blocks carved by hand. This was very expensive and time consuming. The only people who were literate were those of the church and a small percentage of nobility. That all changed with Johanes Gutenber’s creation of the printing press.
Johann Gutenberg managed to bring together technologies known for centuries before him, adding the idea for movable metal type. This led to the mass production of books, being them more available to the general public. The invention of the printing press helped ideas spread quickly making things easier for the reform of the Church and the development of modern sciences. "Renaissance" means "rebirth" in French and stands for the cultural, intellectual and economic changes that occurred in Europe from the fourteenth century and lasted through the sixteenth century. However, the Renaissance was not the first rebirth of learning during the Middle Ages since many beautiful cathedrals had previously been built using classical styles: universities such as Oxford and Bologna were founded around the 12th century and Arabic numbers had been brought from the East by the Crusaders. In this sense, it is said, that the Renaissance continued a process that had started in the Middle Ages. Yet this new Renaissance gave rise to a wide range of new ideas and revealing thoughts that paved the way for an understanding of the world which would have...

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