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  • The print technology was first developed in China, Japan and Korea and it was done by hand.
  • From hand printing there was now a gradual shift to mechanical printing.
  • Marco Polo a great explorer introduced printing technology in Italy.
  • Now Italians began producing books with woodblocks, and soon the technology spread to other parts of Europe.
  • As the need for books increased the need for faster, cheaper printing also increased
  • The first printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1430.
  • Between 1450 and 1550, printing presses were set up in most countries of Europe.
  • The shift from hand printing to mechanical printing led to the print revolution.
  • This revolution transformed the lives of people, changing their relationship to information and knowledge, and with institutions and authorities.
  • Print revolution created awareness among people and opened up new ways of looking at things.
  • Print made possible the circulation of ideas, and introduced a new world of debate and discussion.
  • Newspapers and journals carried information about wars and trade, as well as news of developments in other places.
  • Many historians felt that print culture was a major cause for the French Revolution.
  • Mass literacy increased many fold in the nineteenth century, in Europe. Women children and workers started reading books.
  • Lending libraries became popular in the seventeenth century.
  • During the late eighteenth century, the press was made out of metal.
  • Methods of feeding paper improved, the quality of plates became better, automatic paper reels and photoelectric controls of the colour register were introduced.
  • India had a very rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts – in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and other vernacular languages.
  • Manuscripts were expensive and fragile and had to be handled carefully.
  • The English language press started in India much later.
  • During the early nineteenth century, there were intense debates on religious issues carried out in public and print.
  • Among Hindus, print encouraged the reading of religious texts, especially in the vernacular languages.
  • Printing induced writing. More and more people could now read and they wanted to see their own lives, experiences, emotions and relationships reflected in the books they read.
  • Lives and feelings of women were written with intensity which increased the number of women who took to reading.
  • Very cheap small books were brought to markets in nineteenth-century and sold at crossroads, allowing poor people travelling to markets to buy them.
  • The Vernacular Press Act provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.
  • In spite of these repressive measures, nationalist newspapers grew in numbers in all parts of India. These papers reported on colonial misrule and encouraged nationalist activities.

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