Print Culture and the Modern World Question Answers Class 10 History

‘Print Culture and The Modern World’ CBSE Class 10 NCERT History: The chapter’s question answers are given here. Solutions to the intext (Inside the chapter text) questions are also given. If you have any issue with any of the answers then feel free to contact us. We shall do the necessary modifications in the answers.

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Textbook Exercise Solutions

Write in brief

1. Give reasons for the following:

(a) Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295.

(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it.

(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of Prohibited books from the mi sixteenth century.

(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association.


(a) During the 6th century, woodblocks were invented in China. After exploration, when Marco Polo returned to Italy, he brought along the knowledge of woodblock print with him. The print knowledge reached Europe after 1295.

(b) One of the main reasons for Martin Luther to support print was that it helped him popularise and spread his ideas about religion. He criticised the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church by writing Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Due to the help of print, the writings were reproduced in vast numbers and read widely. His translation of the New Testament was also accepted and read by thousands of people. This led to a division within the church and to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. He also translated ‘The New Testament’ of which 5000 copies were sold within a few days.

(c) From the mid-16th century, The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an index of prohibited books. This was mainly done because the authority was being put in danger by various individuals and typical readings and questionings of faith prompted by the easily accessible popular religious literature. Therefore, the Church banned such books and kept the record of such banned books.

(d) Liberty of speech, liberty of the press and freedom of association were considered the three most powerful factors of expression and cultivation of public opinion by Mahatma Gandhi. As these freedoms were denied, they were not compatible with the idea of self-rule and independence. Therefore, according to him, fighting for these freedoms was essentially, a fight for Swaraj or self-rule.

2. Write short notes on

(a) The Gutenberg Press

(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book

(c) The Vernacular Press Act


(a) The first printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1430s. He used a contemporary technological innovation, that he perfected by the presses of wine making, which required the olive and wine presses. The first book printed by him was the Bible and he made 180 copies in 3 years. The lead moulds were used for casting the metal types for the letters of the alphabet. Later his technique was adopted by many countries around the world.

(b) He was a Latin scholar and a Catholic reformer. He was critical of the print medium as he believed that some of the books provided valuable knowledge, the rest were simply a nuisance for scholarship. He accused the printers of publishing books that were “stupid, slanderous, scandalous, raving, irreligious and seditious”. According to him a large number of books reduced the value of quality writing.

(c) It was based on the Irish Press Laws and passed in 1878. This act mainly gave the censorship rights to the government. If a seditious report was published and the newspaper did not heed to an initial warning, then the press was usually seized and there was confiscation of the printing machine and a complete violation of freedom of expression.

3. What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth century India mean to:

(a) Women

(b) The poor

(c) Reformers


(a) 19th century, the spread of print culture brought an educational reform for women in India. The liberal families supported the education of women to study or read. Now women found a new medium of entertainment, which had been restricted till now to a domestic life. Some of the literate women started to write books and their autobiographies. Rashasundari Devi, a young married girl wrote her autobiography “Amar Jiban” which was published in 1876. Although the conservatives believed that education would make their women widows or corrupt. This led to the counter reaction, as most of the oppressed women began to study and read books and learnt writing in secrecy.

(b) During print culture in India, the poor benefitted on account of the availability of low-price books and public libraries. There were many essays written against the caste discrimination and its inherent injustices which enlightened the people and were read across the country. The support and encouragement of the social reformers helped, the over-worked factory workers set up libraries for self-education, and some of them even published their own works. Some of the works were; “Kashibaba” and his “Chhote Aur Bade Sawal”.

(c) Print culture worked as an advantage for the popularity of social and religious reformers, as it became easier for them to spread their views through books and newspaper across the people. These ideas could then be debated upon by different groups of people. Reformists used everyday languages of the common people, which created a wider platform to spread their ideas.


4. Why did some people in eighteenth century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?


(i) People in Europe during the 18th century thought that print culture would bring enlightenment and would lead to end of despotism.

(ii) Print culture led to easily and cheaply available literature and therefore could not be restricted to the upper classes.

(iii) This caused a fear among the clergy and the monarch as they felt that it would mark an end to the blind devotion to the ruler.

(iv) Rousseau and Voltaire’s ideas of freedom, equality and brotherhood were reaching the common people and this created a new culture of dialogue and debate among the working class.

5. Why did some people fear the effect of easily available printed books? Choose one example from Europe and one from India.

Ans. Their main cause of fear due to easily availability of printed books was because the common people would challenge the higher authorities. Another reason could be the spread of rebellions and irregular ideas and thoughts.

Examples from Europe and India

  • The Roman Catholic Church in Europe tried to restrict the printed books through the Index of Prohibited Books.
  • Whereas, in India, Vernacular Act was imposed on people, which mainly restricted the Indian presses and local newspaper to write against their colonisers.

6. What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth century India?

Ans. In India, the poor people benefitted from the print culture, due to the availability of low-price books and public libraries. l

  • Enlightening essays were written against caste discrimination and injustices. These were read by the common people across the country. l
  • Because of the support and encouragement of the social reformer, over-worked factory workers set up libraries for self-education, and some also published their own works like, Kashibaba and Chhote aur Bade Sawal.

7. Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.


(i) It assisted by providing easy access to nationalist ideals and ideas of quality and freedom.

(ii) It became easier for the social reformers to spread their opinions through newspapers, which sparked off public debates.

(iii) The common people began questioning the authority due to the power of reasoning.

(iv) The nationalist newspaper reported on colonial misrule and encouraged people to participate in nationalist activities.

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