Get here NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Chapter 7. These NCERT Solutions for Class 10 of Social Science subject includes detailed answers of all the questions in Chapter 7 – Print Culture and the Modern World provided in NCERT Book which is prescribed for class 10 in schools.
Resource: National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Book for Class X
Class: 10th Class
Subject: Social Science
Chapter: Chapter 7 – Print Culture and the Modern World
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Chapter 7 – Print Culture and the Modern World
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 mid-
(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and
freedom of association.
(a) Woodblock print was invented around the sixth century in China. It came to Europe, along
with Marco Polo, in 1295. Marco Polo returned to Italy after many years of exploration in
China, and he brought the knowledge of woodblock print with him on his return.
(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it because print media helped
popularise and spread his ideas. In 1517, he wrote the Ninety Five Theses, criticising the
practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. These writings were immediately
reproduced in vast numbers and read widely. His translation of the New Testament was also
accepted and read by thousands. This was only possible due to the improvements in print
technology which had allowed even the working classes to gain access to books.
(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an index of Prohibited books from the mid-
sixteenth century because its authority was being put in danger by the several individual and
distinctive readings and questionings of faith prompted by the easily accessible popular
religious literature. To supplement its inquisition and repression of heretical ideas, the Roman
Catholic Church exercised strict control over publishers and booksellers, and also began to
keep an Index of Prohibited Books from 1558.
(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and
freedom of association because he considered these to be powerful modes of expression and
cultivation of public opinion. The denial of these freedoms was not compatible with the idea
of self rule and independence. Hence, the fight for these freedoms, according to him, was
intrinsically a fight for Swaraj or self rule.
Write short notes to show what you know about:
(a) The Gutenberg Press
(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book
(c) The Vernacular Press Act
(a) The Gutenberg Press: It was established by Johann Gutenberg. By 1448, he had perfected
the system of printing with olive and wine presses, using contemporary technological
innovations. The first book that he printed was the Bible, making 180 copies in 3 years.
Although these books were printed, a unique touch remained in the handmade decorations of
the front page, illuminated borders and purchaser-specified designs. The Gutenberg Press was
the first-known printing press in the 1430s.
(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book: He was critical of the print medium. He believed that
though some books do provide worthwhile knowledge, others are simply a bane for
Erasmus accused printers of publishing books that were not mere trifling but “stupid,
slanderous, scandalous, raving, irreligious and seditious”. He also felt that large numbers of
such books reduce the value of the quality writings.
(c) The Vernacular Press Act: Modelled on the Irish Press Laws, it was passed in 1878. This
law gave the government tyrannical rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular
If a seditious report was published and the newspaper did not heed to an initial warning, then
the press was seized and the printing machinery confiscated. This was a complete violation of
the freedom of expression.
What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth century India mean to:
(b) The poor
The spread of print culture in nineteenth-century India brought about educational reforms for
women. Liberal husbands and fathers educated their womenfolk at home or sent them to
schools for women. Women who had been restricted to a domestic life for generations, now
found a new medium of entertainment. They also began to write articles for journals, in favour
of women’s education and literacy. Some even wrote books; Rashsundari Devi’s autobiography
“Amar Jiban” was the first full-length autobiography, published in 1876. Conservatives
believed that education and reading would make women widows, or corrupt them. Many
women learnt to read and write in secret in such traditionalist environments.
(b) The poor:
They benefitted from the spread of print culture in India on account of the availability of low-
price books and public libraries. Enlightening essays were written against caste discrimination
and its inherent injustices. These were read by people across the country. On the
encouragement and support of social reformers, over-worked factory workers set up libraries
for self-education, and some of them even published their own works, for example, Kashibaba
and his “Chhote Aur Bade Sawal”.
Print culture’s popularity was an advantage for social and religious reformers as they could
now spread their opinions, through newspapers and books, across the masses. These ideas
could then be debated upon by different groups of people. Reformist ideas were put forward in
the local, everyday languages of the common people so as to create a wider platform for the
Why did some people in eighteenth century Europe think that print culture would bring
enlightenment and end despotism?
Some people in eighteenth-century Europe thought that print culture would bring
enlightenment and end despotism. It’s easy and cheap availability meant that literacy would no
longer be restricted to the upper classes. While the clergy and monarchs feared the
enlightenment that a vast reading public would gain, reformers like Martin Luther welcomed
the change. They felt that it would mark an end to the blind adherence to the rulers’ ideology.
This can be seen in the French Revolution as well. The print medium allowed the ideals of
freedom, equality and brotherhood set forth by Rousseau and Voltaire in their writings to reach
the public. It created a new culture of dialogue and debate that initiated the working class into
questioning and re-evaluating social customs and norms. The power of reason that the public
gained initiated social reform, and brought an end to despotism.
Why did some people fear the effect of easily available printed books? Choose one example
from Europe and one from India.
The people who feared the effect of easily available printed books were the ones who held
some power, whether in terms of religion, caste, class or politics. The fear was that their power
and authority would get eroded if ideas questioning their power and authority gained mass
popularity. In Europe, for example, the Roman Catholic Church conveyed its sense of
apprehension for the print medium by stating that the promotion of new “printed” readings of
faith would lead to blasphemous questionings of faith and encourage heretical ideas. It
considered itself to be the sole authority for interpreting religion. Hence, it set up the Index of
Prohibited Books in 1558 to repress any published material that it felt corroded this authority.
In India, apart from the colonial government which did its bit in regulating and suppressing
newspapers and books that questioned and criticised colonial authority, the religious leaders
and the upper castes also displayed their fear of the print medium. They understood that their
religious and social superiority was in danger due to the easily accessible “printed” ideas
contradicting their systems of beliefs. They knew that the popularisation of such ideas would
incite people to rebellion.
What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth century India?
The poor people benefitted from the spread of print culture in India on account of the
availability of low-price books and public libraries. Enlightening essays were written against
caste discrimination and its inherent injustices. These were read by people across the country.
On the encouragement and support of social reformers, over-worked factory workers set up
libraries for self-education, and some of them even published their own works, for example,
Kashibaba and his “Chhote Aur Bade Sawal”.
Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.
Print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India by providing easy access to nationalist
ideals and ideas of freedom and equality to the masses. Social reformers could now print their
opinions in newspapers, which sparked off public debates. The power of reason made the
common people question the authority of colonial power. Interestingly, when the British tried
to censor and control print media, nationalist newspapers grew in number everywhere in the
country. They reported on colonial misrule and encouraged people to participate in nationalist
activities. Attempts to censor anti-colonial publications aroused militant protests as well.
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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science All Chapters
- Chapter 1: The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
- Chapter 2: The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China
- Chapter 3: Nationalism in India
- Chapter 4: The Making of a Global World
- Chapter 5: The Age of Industrialization
- Chapter 6: Work, Life and Leisure
- Chapter 7: Print Culture and the Modern World
- Chapter 8: Novels, Society and History
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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 All Subjects