Print Culture and the Modern World: Extra Important Questions from CBSE Exams Class 10 History

Previous Years’ CBSE Board Class 10 Exam Questions asked from the chapter ‘Print Culture and the Modern World’: These questions will help a lot in preparing for their Class 10 history Exams 2022-23. On the next page Topic Wise Questions are given to ease the understanding of the chapter.

The Beginning of Print Technology. Spread and Growth of Print Technology in Europe.

Short Answer Type

1. How had the Imperial State in China been the major producer of printed material for a long time? Explain with examples. [Delhi 2019]

Ans. Imperial State in China as a major producer of printed material:
(i) Textbooks for examinations were printed in vast numbers.
(ii) The use of print was diversified and the readership enhanced.
(iii) Import of new western technology and mechanical presses.
(iv) Any other relevant point.

Detailed Answer:
For a considerable duration, the Imperial State of China held a dominant position as the leading producer of printed material, owing to the Chinese Civil Service Examinations that mandated the use of printed materials for their preparation and recruitment. The Imperial State sponsored the printing of these materials in massive quantities. As an illustration, starting from the 16th century, the number of examination candidates surged, leading to a corresponding increase in the volume of printed materials.

2. How had novels been easily available to the masses in Europe during the nineteenth century? Explain with examples. [Delhi 2019]

Ans. Novels were easily available for the masses in Europe during nineteenth century:

  • (i) Introduction of circulating libraries.
  • (ii) Technological improvements in printing.
  • (iii) Mass production at low cost.
  • (iv) Innovation in marketing led to expanded sales.
  • (v) Any other relevant point.

Detailed Answer: The emergence of a new reading public was attributed to the printing press invention which reduced the cost of book production. With decreased time and labor, multiple copies could be produced with ease, resulting in books flooding the market and becoming easily accessible to the masses. This led to the publication of popular ballads and folk tales, which were profusely illustrated with pictures and widely read by the masses.

3. How had the printing press created a new culture of reading in Europe? [OD 2019]

Ans. (i) Access to books created a new culture of reading.

  • (ii) Common people lived in a world of oral culture.
  • (iii) Now the books were less expensive and could be produced in sufficient number.
  • (iv) Any other relevant point

Detailed Answer: Reasons for the rise of reading mania:

  1. Increase in literacy: In the late 18th century, literacy rates reached 60-80% in various parts of Europe, leading to a widespread interest in reading.
  2. Emergence of new literature: In England, penny chapbooks were introduced and sold by street vendors, allowing even the impoverished to access them easily. Similarly, in France, ‘Bibliotheque Bleue’ were published, which were small, inexpensive books printed on low-quality paper and bound in cheap blue covers.
  3. Growth of periodicals: The development of periodical press in the early 18th century allowed for a combination of current events, entertainment, and scientific advancements to become more accessible to the general public.
  4. This led to the spread of ideas: from notable scientists and philosophers, such as Isaac Newton, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, and the publication of scientific texts, maps, and diagrams in popular literature.

4. “The ‘Print Revolution’ had transformed the lives of people changing their relationship to information and knowledge.” Analyse the statement. [Delhi&OD,2018]

Ans. Transformation due to Print Revolution:

  • (i) It influenced people’s perception and opened up new ways of looking at things.
  • (ii) A new reading public emerged.
  • (iii) Created the possibility of wide circulation of ideas.
  • (iv) Introduced a new world of debate and discussion.
  • (v) Stimulated many distinctive individual interpretations of faith.

5. “Print created the possibility of the wide circulation of ideas and introduced a new world of debate and discussion.” Analyse the statement in the context of religion in Europe. [CBSE Compartment 2018]

Ans. Print created the possibility of the wide circulation of ideas: Due to print creation, those people who disagreed with established authorities could not print and circulate their ideas. Through the printed message, they could persuade people to think differently. This had significance in different spheres of life. Not everyone welcomed the printed books and those who did also had fears about them. Many were apprehensive of effects that the easier access to printed books could have on people’s minds. It was feared that if there was no control over what was printed and read then rebellious and irreligious thoughts might spread. (CBSE Marking Scheme)

Detailed Answer in Points: The invention of printing press created a new possibility for the wide circulation of ideas. Those who disagreed with established authorities could now print and circulate their ideas, which had a significant impact on various spheres of life.

  • The Power of Printed Message: Printed messages allowed people to persuade others to think differently, making it a powerful tool for spreading new ideas and information.
  • Mixed Reactions to Printed Books: While many welcomed the availability of printed books, others had fears about their effects. There was apprehension about the easier access to printed books and the potential impact on people’s minds.
  • Concerns over Uncontrolled Print Circulation: There were concerns that if there was no control over what was printed and read, rebellious and irreligious thoughts might spread, leading to negative consequences.

6. Explain any three factors responsible for the invention of new printing techniques. [Board 2016-17]


  • (i) The production of handwritten could not satisfy the ever-increasing demand for books.
  • (ii) Copying was expensive, laborious and time taking.
  • (iii) Manuscripts were fragile, difficult to handle and could not be cared for or read easily

7. ‘With the printing press a new public emerged in Europe’. Justify the statement. [Board 2015, 16]


(i) The earliest kind of print technology was developed in China, Japan and Korea. In China woodblocks were used for hand printing.

(ii) Up to the 6th-century print was used only by the scholar-officials but later it became common.

(iii) The Buddhist Missionaries introduced hand printing technology from China to Japan.

(iv) It was Marco Polo, a great explorer, who brought printing knowledge of woodblock from China to Italy.

(v) The invention of the printing press proved great miracle in spreading knowledge.

8. Explain the reasons favouring shift from hand printing to mechanical printing in China. A [Board 2015]

Ans. The reasons favouring the shift from hand printing to mechanical printing in China are:

(i) Textbooks of the Civil Service Examination were printed in vast numbers under the sponsorship of the Imperial State. From the sixteenth century, the number of examination candidates went up and that increased the volume of print.

(ii) By the seventeenth century, the print was no longer used just by scholar-officials. Merchants used the print in their everyday life, as they collected Trade information.

(iii) Reading increasingly became a leisure activity. The new readership preferred fictional narratives, poetry, autobiographies, anthologies of literary masterpieces, and romantic plays.

(iv) Rich women began to read, and many women began publishing their poetry and plays. Wives of scholar officials published their works and courtesans wrote about their lives. The new reading culture was accompanied by the new technology. Western printing techniques and mechanical presses were imported into China and Shanghai became the new hub of the new print culture.

Long Answer Type

1. Describe the impact of the Print Revolution in Europe during 15th and 16th century. [Board 2016-17]

Ans. Impact of the Print Revolution in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries:

  • (i) Printing reduced the cost of books.
  • (ii) The time and labour required to produce each of the book came down, multiple copies could be produced with greater ease.
  • (iii) Books flooded the market, reaching out to an ever-growing readership.
  • (iv) Publishers started publishing popular ballad folk tales with beautiful pictures and illustrations.
  • (v) Knowledge was transferred orally.
  • (vi) Print created the possibility of the wide circulation of ideas and introduced a new world of debate and discussion.
  • (vii) Even those who disagreed with established authorities could now print and circulate their ideas. e.g., Martin Luther was a German monk, priest, professor and Church Reformer. He challenged the Church to debate his ideas.
  • (viii) This led to division within the Church and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
  • (ix) Print and popular religious literature stimulated many distinctive individual interpretations of faith even among little-educated working people.
  • (x) In the sixteenth century, Menocchio, a miller in Italy, reinterpreted the message of the Bible and formulated a view of God and Creation that enraged the Roman Catholic Church

2. Explain with examples how print culture catered to the requirement of children. [Board 2016-17]


(i) Primary education became compulsory from the late nineteenth century; children became an important category of readers. Production of school textbooks became critical for the publishing industry.

(ii) A children’s press devoted to literature for children alone, was set up in France in 1857.

(iii) This press published new works as well as old fairy tales and folk tales.

(iv) The Grimm Brothers in Germany spent years compiling traditional folk tales gathered from peasants. What they collected was edited before the stories were published in a collection in 1812.

(v) Anything that was considered unsuitable for children or would appear vulgar to the elites, was not included in the published version. Rural folk tales thus acquired a new form. In this way, print recorded old tales but also changed them.

The Growth of Press in 19th Century India

1. “Issues of caste discrimination began to be written about in many printed tracts and essays in India in the late nineteenth century.” Support the statements with two suitable examples. [Delhi & OD 2019]

Ans. Issues of caste discrimination began to be written about in many tracts and essays in India in late 19th century.

  • In 1871, ‘Gulamgiri’, a work written by Jyotiba Phule, the Maratha pioneer of the low caste movement, addressed the inequalities inherent in the caste system.
  • Caste-based discrimination was a prominent theme in the popular and widely read works of E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker and B.R. Ambedkar, which discussed social issues.
  • Many regional protest movements and parties published periodicals and articles criticizing religious texts and envisioning a new societal outlook.
  • In 1938, Kashibaba, a millworker from Kanpur, authored ‘Chhote Aur Bade Ka Sawal’ to illustrate the connection between class and caste mistreatment.
  • The cotton mill workers of Bangalore began establishing libraries in 1930 to educate themselves, following the example set by the Bombay mill workers.
  • As a result of these efforts, people from lower castes became increasingly aware of the need to criticize ancient scriptures and develop a society that was free of caste discrimination, based on equality.

2. What is manuscript? Mention any two limitations of it, during the nineteenth century. [Board 2016-17]

Ans. Manuscripts were documents or books written by hand. They were not used widely because:

(a) They could not satisfy the ever-increasing demand for books.

(b) They were expensive as copying was an expensive, laborious and time-consuming business.

(c) Manuscripts were fragile, awkward to handle and could not be carried around or read easily.

(d) Their circulation was limited

3. Explain any three features of hand written manuscripts before the age of print in India. [Board 2016-17]


(i) Manuscripts were written on palm leaves or handmade paper.

(ii) Pages were beautifully illustrated.

(iii) Manuscripts were highly expensive but fragile.

(iv) They were in various vernacular languages.

(v) They could not be read easily as the script was written in different styles

4. Why did British Government curb the freedom of the Indian press after the Revolt of 1857?


(i) After the Revolt of 1857, the attitude to freedom of the press changed. Enraged Englishmen demanded a clampdown on the ‘Native’ press.

(ii) As vernacular newspapers became assertively nationalist, the Colonial Government began debating measures of stringent control.

5. For what purpose did Ram Chaddha, publish ‘Istri Dharam Vichar’? [Board 2015]


(i) In Punjab, similar folk literature discussing women’s issues was widely printed from the early 20th century.

(ii) Ram Chaddha published the fast-selling ‘Istri Dharam Vichar’ to teach women how to be obedient wives.

6. Why were women not educated in India in the early part of the nineteenth century? Give any two reasons. [Board 2015]


(i) This was because of the superstitions and myths that prevailed in the society.

(ii) Conservative Hindus believed that a literate girl would be widowed and Muslims feared that educated women would be corrupted by reading Urdu romances

7. Why was Vernacular Press Act passed? Explain about this Act. [Board 2015]


(i) The Vernacular Press Act provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.

(ii) The government kept regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces.

(iii) If any report was judged as seditious, then quickly that newspaper was warned.

(iv) If the warning was ignored, the press was liable to be seized and the printing machinery could be seized.

Long Answer Type

1. Explain briefly the initial efforts made by foreigners to introduce printing press in India. [Board 2016-17]


(i) The Portuguese Missionaries first introduced printing press in India in the mid-16th century.

(ii) Jesuit priests learned Konkani and printed several tracts.

(iii) By 1674 about 50 books had been printed in the Konkani and Kannada language.

(iv) Catholic priests first published printed books in Tamil in Cochin and 1713 first Malayalam book was printed.

(v) The Dutch Protestant Missionaries had printed nearly 32 printed texts in Tamil which were later translated.

(vi) The English language press did not grow in India till quite late even though officials of the East India Company began to import presses from late 17th century.

(vii) From 1780, James Augustus Hickey began to edit the Bengal Gazette, a weekly magazine; it was a private English enterprise and was free from colonial influence.

(viii) Hickey published a lot of advertisements including those that related to import and sale of slaves.

(ix) By the close of the 18th century, a number of newspapers and journals appeared in print.

2. “Print not only stimulated the publication of conflicting opinions amongst communities, but it also connected communities and people in different parts of India.” Examine the statement. A [Board 2016-17]


(i) Religious texts, reached a wide circle of people encouraging discussions, debates and controversies within and among different religions.

(ii) Newspapers conveyed news from one place to other creating pan-Indian identities.

(iii) Spread of ideas through printed texts and newspapers led to widespread participation of Indians.

(iv) Print propagated against social evils like Sati, child marriage and the purdah system.

(v) Emergence of many social reforms and reform movements.

(vi) New ideas emerged through the clashes of opinions.

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