Monday , May 23 2022

Print Culture And The Modern World: 10 SST

Question: How did the ideas of scientists and philosophers become more accessible to common people after the beginning of print revolution in Europe?


  1. The ideas of scientists and philosophers now became more accessible to the common people.
  2. Ancient and medieval scientific texts were compiled and published, and maps and scientific diagrams were widely printed.
  3. When scientists like Isaac Newton began to publish their discoveries, they could influence n much wider circle of scientifically minded readers
  4. The writings of thinkers such as Thomas Paine. Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau were also widely printed and read. Thus their ideas about science, reasoning and nationality found their way into popular literature.

Question: Who was Louise-Sebastien Mercier? What were his Ideas about print?
“Tremble, therefore, tyrants of the world! Tremble before the virtual writer!” Explain this statement.

Answer: Louise-Sebastian Mercier was a French dramatist and a novelist in the eighteenth century. He declared “The printing press a the most powerful engine of progress and public opinion is the force that will sweep despotism away.’ In most of his novels, he had shown his love for reading. In most of his novels, the heroes are transformed by the acts of reading Convinced of the power of print in bringing enlightenment, and destroying the basis of despotism, Mercier proclaimed: “Tremble, therefore, tyrants of the world ! Tremble before the virtual writer!”

Question: Explain any three features of handwritten manuscripts before the age of print in India.
Answer: (i) Handwritten were copied on palm leaves or on handmade papers.
(ii) Pages were beautifully illustrated.
(iii)They were pressed between wooden covers or sewn together to ensure preservation,
(iv) Manuscripts were available in vernacular languages.
(v) Manuscripts Highly expensive and fragile,
(vi) They could no: he read easily as script was written in different styles.

Question: “The Bengal Gazette was a commercial paper open to all. but influenced by none.” Justify the claim of James Augustus Hickey.

Answer: From 1780, James Augustus Hickey began to edit the Bengal Gazette, a weekly magazine that described Itself as a commercial paper open to all. but influenced by none’ So it was private English enterprise, proud of its independence from colonial influence, chat began English printing in India. Hickey published a lot of advertisements, including those that related to the import and sale of slaves. But he also published a lot of gossip about the Company’s senior officials in India. Enraged by this, Governor-General Warren Hastings persecuted Hickey, and encouraged the publication of officially sanctioned newspapers that could counter the flow of information that damaged the image of the colonial government.

Question: Why did the woodblock method become popular in Europe?
What were the drawbacks of the handwritten manuscripts?
Mention the shortcomings of manuscripts.


  1. The production of handwritten manuscripts could not meet the ever-increasing demand for books.
  2. Copying was an expensive, laborious and time-consuming business.
  3. The manuscripts were fragile, awkward to handle and could not be carried around or read easily. By the early fifteenth century, woodblocks started being widely used in Europe to print textiles, playing cards and religious pictures with simple, brief texts.

Question: From the early 19th century, there were intense debates around the religious issues. Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread the new ideas, but they shaped the nature of debate also. Explain by giving examples.


  1. Different groups confronted the changes happening within colonial society in different ways, and offered a variety of new interpretations of the beliefs of different religions. A wider public could now participate in these public discussions and express their views. New ideas emerged through these clashes of opinions.
  2. This was a time of intense controversies between social and religious reformers and the Hindu orthodoxy over matters like widow immolation, monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood and idolatry. In Bengal, as the debate developed, tracts and newspapers proliferated, circulating a variety of arguments. To reach a wider audience, the ideas were printed in the everyday, spoken language of ordinary people.
  3. Raja Ram Mohan Roy published the Sambad Kaumudi from 1821 and the Hindu orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to oppose his opinions. From 1822, two Persian newspapers were published, Jam-i-Jahan Nama and Shamsul Akhbar.

Question: Explain the steps which were taken by the British government or the colonial government to control the freedom of press.


  1. Earlier measures: Before 1798, the colonial state under the East India Company was not too concerned with censorship. Strangely, its early measures to control printed matter were directed against Englishmen in India who were critical of Company misrule and hated the actions of particular Company officers. The Company was worried that such criticisms might be used by its critics in England to attack its trade monopoly in India.
  2. Regulations of Calcutta Supreme Court: By the 1820s, the Calcutta Supreme Court passed certain regulations to control press freedom and the Company began encouraging publication of newspapers that would celebrate British rule. In 1835, faced with urgent petitions by editors of English and vernacular newspapers, Governor-General Bentinck agreed to revise press laws. Thomas Macaulay, a liberal colonial official, formulated new rules that restored the earlier freedoms.
  3. Vernacular Press Act: After the revolt of 1857, the attitude to freedom of the press changed. Enraged Englishmen demanded a clamp down on the “native” press. In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed, modeled on the Irish Press Laws. It provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press. From now on the government kept regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces. When a report was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the press was liable to be seized and the printing machinery confiscated.

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