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Print Culture and the French Revolution

Many historians felt that print culture was a major cause for the French Revolution.

Print culture and the French Revolution.

  • Printed material spread the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers.
  • Their writings criticised tradition, superstition and despotism.
  • The writing propagated the view that everything should be judged through the application of reason and rationality.
  • They attacked the sacred authority of the Church and the dictatorial power of the state. Writing of Voltaire and Rousseau were very popular and people were influenced by them

  • Voltaire


  • Print created a new culture of dialogue and debate.
  • All values, norms and institutions were re-evaluated and discussed by the public who had started reasoning things.
  • New ideas of social revolution was born
  • III.

  • In 1780s books criticised the morality of the royalty and the public who reads these books raised questions about the existing social order.
  • The sufferings of the common man were printed in contrast to the luxury enjoyed by the royalty.
  • Some books turned people hostile towards the monarchy.
  • Thus historian felt that the reading culture influenced people in a big way. All ideas were not accepted, as the common man had become literate and had gained the power to reason for himself.

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