Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 Important Questions

Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World In Europe Important Questions and answers cover these topics and help students to understand the concepts better. Students can solve these for practice. They may come across some of these questions in the board exam.

Students can clear their doubts from the chapter by solving these CBSE Class 10 History Important Questions and prepare well for the board exams. The links to download the PDF version of these questions are given in a link in this article.

Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World Important Questions

1. What did the Grimm Brothers publish? (2014)

Answer: The Grimm Brothers of Germany compiled traditional folktales gathered from peasants and published them in 1812.

2. Which was the first book written by Gutenberg? (2012)

Answer: The bible was the first book written by Gutenberg.

3. Who brought the first printing press to India? (2012)

Answer: Portuguese missionaries.

4. Who developed the first printing press? (2013)

Answer: Johann Gutenberg

5. “The printing press is the most powerful engine of progress and public opinion is the force that will sweep despotism away.” Who said these words? (2013)

Answer: Louise Sebastian Mercier

6. Which method of hand-printing was developed in China? (2014)

Answer: From AD 594, books in China were printed by rubbing paper against the inked surface of woodblocks.

7. How were Bibliotheque Bleue different from penny chapbooks? (2015)

Answer: Penny chapbooks were carried by petty pedlars known as chapmen in England. These books were sold for a penny, so that even the poor could buy them. “Bibliotheque Bleue’, were low-priced small books printed in France. Both were low priced books printed on poor quality paper but the Biliotheque Bleue were bound in cheap blue covers.

8. What was Protestant Reformation? (2015)

Answer: Protestant Reformation was a 16th Century movement to reform Catholic Church dominated by Rome. Martin Luther was one of the main Protestant reformers. He wrote Ninety Five Theses criticizing many practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Several traditions of anti-Catholic Christianity developed out of the movement.

9. What kind of books were available in India before the introduction of print culture?

Answer: Earlier, the books used to be handwritten either on palm leaves or handmade paper. India has a tradition of handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian as well as in various vernacular languages. Pages were sometimes beautifully illustrated. They would either be pressed between wooden covers or sewn together to ensure preservation.

10. Why is Charles Metcalfe called the ‘Liberator of the Press’ in India?

Answer: Charles Metcalfe was the Acting-Governor General of India in 1835. He distinguished himself by liberating the Press in India and was responsible for removing all the restrictions on the Press in India.

11. What kind of information did the periodical press and newspapers carry in the 18th century?

Answer: The periodical press and newspapers carried combined information about current affairs with entertainment. They also carried information about wars and trade as well as news of developments in other places.

12. Mention the contribution of Richard M. Hoes (New York) in print culture in the mid-nineteenth century.

Answer: Richard M.Hoes had perfected the power-driven cylindrical press. This press was capable of printing 8,000 sheets per hour and was very useful for printing newspapers.

13. What were ‘penny chapbooks’?

Answer: Penny chapbooks were pocket-sized books sold for a penny by pedlars known as chapmen.

14. Who was the first printing press was developed by? (2017 D)

Answer: Johan Gutenberg

15. Why is Charles Metcalfe called the ‘Liberator of the Press’ in India. (2017 OD)

Answer: Charles Metcalfe was the Acting Governor General of India in 1835. He distinguished himself by liberating the Press in India and was responsible for removing all the restrictions on the press in India.

16. Explain any five reasons for bringing in large number of new readers among children, women and workers during the late 19th century. (2014)

Answer: The five reasons are

  • compulsory primary education;
  • women became important as readers;
  • lending libraries became instrumental for educating white collar workers, artisans and lower middle class people;
  • self educated working novelist were women who defined a new type of strong woman; and
  • best known novelist were who defined a new type of strong woman.

17. ‘Print played a significant role in awakening sentiments of nationalism amongst the Indians’. Explain the statement with examples. (2012)

Answer: There is no denying that print culture connected the different people and communities and stimulated among them a spirit of togetherness, oneness and nationalism. Both Indian press and literature played a vital role in the growth of nationalism in India. In the nineteenth century, a large quantity of national literature was created which brought about a great revolution in the minds of people and inspired them to fight against British imperialism.

The Indian press contributed in arousing national consciousness among the people of India. Many vernacular newspapers like the ‘Indian Mirror’, ‘Bombay Samachar’, ‘The Amrita Bazar Patrika’, ‘The Hindu/ ‘The Kesari’ and several others had a great influence on the political life of the country. A continuous flow of articles by national leaders and thinkers like Gandhiji, Tagore, Tilak, etc. passed on ideas of a new free India to the masses and prepared them for the national struggle.

18. How did the printers manage to attract the people, largely illiterate, towards printed books? (2012)

Answer: The rate of literacy was very low in European countries till the twentieth century:

  • To attract the illiterate common people towards printed books, publishers realised the wider reach of printed work whereby even those who could not read could certainly enjoy listening to books being read out.
  • So printers began publishing popular ballads and folk tales. Such books would be profusely illustrated with pictures.
  • These were also sung and recited at gatherings in villages and in taverns in towns.

19. What were the new inventions that increased the circulation of printed materials? (2012)

Answer: With the growing demand for books, woodblock printing gradually became more and more popular and was widely used in Europe to print textiles, playing cards, and religious pictures with simple, brief texts. The breakthrough in printing technology occurred when Johann Gutenberg developed the first printing press.

The Olive Press provided the model for the printing press, and moulds were used for casting the metal types for the letters and alphabet. The first book Gutenberg printed was Bible. As the number of printing press grew, book production boomed. The shift from hand printing to mechanical printing led to the print revolution.

20. Give any three reasons favouring shift from hand printing to mechanical printing in China? (2013)

Answer:

  1. By the 17th century, urban culture bloomed in China and the use of print diversified. It was important for a shift from hand printing to mechanical printing in China to take place. Print was no longer used just by scholar-officials. Merchants used print in their everyday life to collect trade information.
  2. Reading increasingly became a leisure activity. Rich women began to read and many women began publishing their poetry and plays.
  3. In the late 19th century as Western powers established their outposts in China, western printing techniques and mechanical presses were imported. Shanghai became the hub of the new print culture catering to Western-style schools.

21. Highlight any three circumstances that led to the intermingling of the hearing culture and the reading culture. (2014)

Answer:

  • With the printing press, a new reading public emerged. Printing reduced the cost of books. Access to books created a new culture of reading. Earlier reading was restricted to the elite.
  • Common people lived in a world of oral culture. They heard sacred texts read out, ballads recited and folk tales narrated. Knowledge was transferred orally.
  • Printers began publishing popular ballads and folk tales, illustrated with pictures. These were sung and recited at gatherings. Oral culture thus entered print and printed material was orally transmitted.
  • The line that separated oral and reading cultures diminished and the hearing and reading public intermingled.

22. Highlight any three innovations which have improved the printing technology from nineteenth century onwards. (2014)

Answer: Three innovations which have improved the printing technology from nineteenth century onwards:

  1. Methods of feeding paper improved.
  2. The quality of printing plates became better.
  3. Automatic paper reels and photoelectric controls of the colour register were introduced.
  4. The accumulation of several individual mechanical improvements transformed the appearance of printed texts.

23. In which three ways did the printed books at first closely resemble the written manuscripts? (2014)

Answer: The printed books at first closely resembled the written manuscripts in appearance and layout. The metal letters initiated the ornamental handwritten styles. Borders were illuminated were by hand with foliage and patterns and illustrations painted. In the books printed for the rich, space for decoration was kept blank on the printed page for the purchaser to choose the design and the painting school that would do the illustration.

24. How did new forms of popular literature appear in print targeting new audience in the Eighteenth century? Explain with examples. (2014)

Answer: New forms of popular literature appeared in print targeting new audiences.
Book sellers employed pedlars who roamed around villages, carrying little books for sale. There were almanacs or ritual calendars, along with ballads and folktales.

In England, penny chapbooks were carried by petty pedlars known as chapmen and sold for a penny.

In France ‘Biliotheque Blue’, low priced small books printed on poor quality paper were bound in cheap blue covers. Romances and the ‘histories’ which were stories about the past were printed on four to six pages. Books were of various sizes, serving many different purposes and interests.

25. What made the Englishmen, under colonial rule, demand a clamp down on the ‘native press’, after the revolt of 1857? How was it done? (2013)
Or,

Why did the attitude of the colonial Government towards the freedom of the press change after the revolt of 1857? What repressive measures were adopted by them to control the freedom of press? (2013)

Answer: The English Government wanted to suppress the native press because the vernacular newspapers had become assertively nationalist. They feared that if their freedom of Press is not curtailed, it might encourage the masses to rise again against the colonial rule.

In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed which provided the Government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.

Then onwards, the government kept regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces. When a report was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the Press could be seized and the printing machinery confiscated.

26. Why was Martin Luther in favour of print? Explain three reasons. (2012)

Answer: Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it, because:

  1. He wrote ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ criticizing many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. His ideas were reproduced in print in vast numbers and reached a large section of people,
  2. According to him printing was the ultimate gift of God and the greatest one.
  3. His protests ultimately led to the division of Church and beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

27. Write a short note on Gutenberg Press. (2012)

Answer: Gutenberg Press. A breakthrough in print technology occurred at Strasbourg, Germany where Johann Gutenberg developed the first known printing press in 1430s. Gutenberg developed metal types for each of the 26 characters of the Roman alphabet and devised a way of moving them around so as to compose different words of the text.

This came to be known as the moveable type printing machine, and it remained the basic print technology over the next 300 years. Books could now be produced much faster than was possible when each print block was prepared by carving a piece of wood by hand. The Gutenberg press could print 250 sheets on one side per hour. The first book printed by Gutenberg was the Bible and it took three years to print 180 copies.

28. Write a short note on Vernacular Press Act. (2012)

Answer: The Vernacular Press Act.

  • In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed by the British Government in India to impose restrictions on vernacular press, which was responsible for spreading nationalist ideas in much of India.
  • The government started to keep a regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces and had extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.
  • When a report was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the press was liable to be seized and the printing machinery confiscated.
  • The most discriminating aspect of the law was that though it put serious restrictions on the freedom of Indian language newspapers, yet it spared the English newspapers from its purview.

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

Answer: By mid-eighteenth century, people started believing that books were a means of spreading progress and enlightenment. They believed books could change the world and liberate society from despotism and tyranny. Thinkers hoped that widespread use of books would help people to reason out and give them strength to fight despotism. The knowledge imparted in the books would help the masses to the rights of the rulers (or divine right theory). Louise Sebastien Mercier, a novelist staunchly believed that the power of print would spread enlightenment and destroy the very basis of despotism.

30. What do you understand by ‘visual culture’ and its role in printing in India?

Answer:

  1. By the end of 19th century, a new visual culture had started.
  2. Increasing number of printing presses helped in the production of visual images and reproduced them in multiple copies.
  3. Painters like Raja Ravi Varma helped in producing images for mass circulation.
  4. Cheap prints and calendars were easily available in markets and could be bought even by the poor to decorate the walls of their homes or workplaces. These prints helped in developing popular ideas about modernity and tradition, religion and politics and society and culture.

31. Evaluate the impact of print technology on the poor people in India. (2017 D)

Answer: Impact of Print on the poor. Very cheap books were brought to markets in 19th century Madras towns and sold at crossroads, allowing poor people travelling to markets to buy them. Public libraries were set up from the early 20th century, expanding access to books.
From the late 19th century, issues of caste discrimination began to be written about in many printed tracts and essays:

  1. Jyotiba Phule, the Maratha pioneer of Tow caste’ protest movements, wrote about the injustices of the caste system in his Gulamgiri (1871). B.R. Ambedkar in Maharashtra and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker in Madras, better known as Periyar, wrote powerfully on caste and their writings were read by people all over India.
  2. A mill worker at Kanpur called Kashibaba, wrote and published Chhote Aur Bade Ka Sawal in 1930 to show the links between caste and class exploitation. Bangalore Cotton Mill workers set up libraries to educate themselves following the example of Bombay workers.

32. Why did the attitude of the colonial Government towards the freedom of the press change after the revolt of 1857? What repressive measures were adopted by them to control the freedom of press? (2017 OD)

Answer: Enraged English officials clamped down the native press:

  1. The English Government wanted to suppress the native press because the vernacular newspapers had become assertively nationalist. They feared that if their freedom of Press is not curtailed, it might encourage the masses to rise again against the colonial rule.
  2. In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed which provided the Government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.
  3. Then onwards, the government kept regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces. When a report was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the Press could be seized and the printing machinery confiscated.

33. Why did the British Government pass the Vernacular Press Act in 1878? What powers did it give to the Government? (2012)
Or
Critically examine the Vernacular Press Act of 1878. (2015)

Answer: The British Government passed the Vernacular Press Act in 1878 because the Company was worried that their criticism in Indian media might be used by their critics in England to attack their trade monopoly in India.

After the Revolt of 1877, the criticism against the government grew in the Indian media. The Vernacular newspapers reported on colonial misrule and encouraged nationalist activities. So it became necessary for the administrators in India to suppress the local newspapers. It provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the Vernacular Press.

The government had the power to warn, seize and confiscate the printing machinery of the newspaper if it was judged as seditious. The most discriminating aspect was that it put severe restrictions on the Indian language newspapers while the English ones were spared from its purview.

34. What is a manuscript? List any four shortcomings of manuscripts. (2013)

Answer: India had a very rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts—in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and other vernacular languages.
Manuscripts were copied on palm leaves or on handmade paper. Pages were sometimes beautifully. illustrated.
Shortcomings of manuscript:

  1. Manuscripts were highly expensive and fragile and could not be carried around easily.
  2. They could not be read easily as the script was written in different styles.
  3. Production of handwritten manuscripts could not satisfy the ever-increasing demand for books.
  4. Copying was an expensive, laborious and time-consuming business.
  5. Even though pre-colonial Bengal had developed an extensive network of village, primary schools, students very often did not read texts. They only learnt to write.

35. “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. (2014)

Answer:

  • By the close of the eighteenth century, a number of newspapers and journals appeared in print. The first newspaper to come out was the weekly Bengal Gazette, brought out by Gangadhar Bhattacharya.
  • Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread new ideas, but they also shaped the nature of debate. A wider public could now participate in public discussions and express their views.
  • There were intense controversies between the social and religious reformers and Hindu orthodoxy over matters like widow immolation, monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood and idolatry. So that these ideas and thoughts could reach a wider audience, newspapers were printed in the spoken language of ordinary people.
  • Rammohan Roy published the Sambad Kaumudi from 1821 and the Hindu orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to oppose his opinions. Two Persian newspapers, Jam-i-Jahan Nama and Shamsul Akhbar were also published.
  • After the collapse of Muslim dynasties Ulama feared that colonial rulers would change the Muslim personal laws. To counter this they published Persian and Urdu translations of holy scriptures and printed religious newspapers and tracts.
  • Newspapers and journals not only helped the publication of conflicting opinions but also connected people and communities in different parts of India. Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another, creating Pan-Indian identities.

36. ‘The shift from hand printing to mechanical printing led to the print revolution in Europe/ Explain the statement with examples. (2015)

Answer: Between 1450 and 1550, printing presses were set up in most countries of Europe. Printers from Germany travelled to other countries seeking work helping start new presses. As the number of printing presses grew, book production boomed.

The second half of the 15th century saw 20 million copies of printed books flooding the markets in Europe. The number increased to 200 million copies in 16th century. This shift from hand printing to mechanical printing led to the print revolution.
Printing became a revolutionary process and became the vehicle for reaching masses of readers quickly.

  1. The printed books at first closely resembled the written manuscripts in appearance and layout.
  2. The metal letters initiated the ornamental handwritten styles.
  3. Borders were illuminated by hand with foliage and other patterns, and illustrations were painted.
  4. In the books printed for the rich, space for decoration was kept blank on the printed page for the purchaser to choose the design and the painting school that would do the illustration.

37. “The new technology could not entirely displace the existing art of producing books by hand during 15th century.” Support the statement. (2015)

Answer:

  1. The printed books at first closely resembled the written manuscripts in appearance and layout.
  2. The metal letters imitated the ornamental handwritten styles.
  3. Borders were illuminated by hand with foliage and other patterns and illustrations were painted.
  4. In the books printed for the rich, space for decoration was kept blank on the printed page. Each purchaser could choose the designs and decide on the painting school that would do the illustrations.
    The new technology did not entirely displace the existing art of producing books by hand.

38. Explain any five effects of spreading of print culture on poor people in nineteenth century India. (2012)
Or
Evaluate the impact of print technology on the poor people in India. (2013)

Answer: The effects of spread of print culture on poor people in 19th century India:
Very cheap books were brought to markets in 19th century Madras towns and sold at crossroads, allowing poor people travelling to markets to buy them. Public libraries were set up from the 20th century, expanding access to books.

From the late 19th century, issues of caste discrimination began to be written about in many printed tracts and essays.

  • Jyotiba Phule, the Maratha pioneer of ‘low caste’ protest movements, wrote about the injustices of the caste system in his Gulamgiri (1871). B.R. Ambedkar in Maharashtra and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker in Madras, better known as Periyar, wrote powerfully on caste and their writings were read by people all over India.
  • A mill worker at Kanpur called Kashibaba, wrote and published Chhote Aur Bade ka Sawal in 1938 to show the links between caste and class exploitation. Bangalore Cotton Mill workers set up libraries to educate themselves following the example of Bombay workers.

39. Describe any five strategies developed by the printers and publishers in the 19th century to sell their products. (2013)

Answer: Printers and publishers continuously developed new strategies to sell their products:

  1. Serialisation of important novels in nineteenth century periodicals. This gave birth to a particular way of writing.
  2. In the 1920s in England, popular works were sold in cheap series, called the ‘Shilling Series’.
  3. Publishers feared a decline in book purchases during the Great Depression in 1930s. They brought out cheap paperback editions of novels to sustain buying.
  4. Printers published new books.
  5. In the 20th century, the dust cover or the book jacket was also introduced.

40. How far is it right to say that the print culture was responsible for the French Revolution? Explain. (2014)
Or
“Many historians argued that the conditions within which French Revolution occurred were created by the print culture”. Support this statement with three suitable arguments. (2013)

Answer: Following are the arguments which were given in support of the above statement:

  1. Print popularised the ideas of enlightened thinkers like Voltaire and Rousseau, and those who read these books, started ing everything and developed critical and rational thinking. These thinkers attacked the sacred authority of the Church and despotic power of the State.
  2. All existing values, norms and institutions, which were never ed earlier, were revalued through debates and discussions by the public in print.
  3. By 1780s, there was an outpour of literature that mocked royalty and criticised their morality. The existing social order was criticised. Through cartoons and caricatures, they made people aware that while common people were going through tremendous hardships, the monarchy remained absorbed in merry-making and did not care about sufferings of common people. This ultimately led to the growth of a hostile feeling against the monarchy.
    In spite of these strong arguments, no one can claim that these were the only reasons for the outbreak of the French Revolution.

41. What did the spread of print culture mean to the women in 19th century India.

Answer: Women: The spread of print culture opened a new world of education and books for many Indian women who had remained confined to their households and families due to the traditional Indian social set-up.

  • Women’s reading increased enormously in middle-class homes. Liberal husbands and fathers began educating their womenfolk at home and sent them to schools when women’s schools were set up in the cities and towns after the mid-nineteenth century.
  • Even girls and women took initiative to get liberated and educated. One such example is of a girl in a conservative Muslim family of North India who had learnt to read and write Urdu. Her family wanted her to read only the Arabic Quran which she did not understand. So she insisted on learning to read a language that was her own.
  • Another such example was: Rashsundari Debi, a young married girl in a very orthodox household who learnt to read in the secrecy of her kitchen. Later she wrote her autobiography Amur Jiban which was published in 1876.
  • From 1860, a few Bengali women like Kailashbashini Debi wrote books highlighting the experiences of women about how they were illtreated on the domestic front.
  • Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai wrote with passionate anger about the miserable lives of upper caste Hindu women, especially widows. A woman in a Tamil novel expressed what reading meant to women: ‘For various reasons, my world is small. More than half my life’s happiness has come from books.’
  • In the early twentieth century, journals, written for and sometimes edited by women, became extremely popular and discussed issues like women’s education, widowhood, widow remarriage and the national movement.
  • Pedlars took the Battala publications (Central Calcutta) to homes, enabling women to read them in their leisure time.

42. Explain the significance of newspapers and journals developed from the early 18th century.

Answer:

  • By the close of the eighteenth century, a number of newspapers and journals appeared in print.
  • Not just the English people, the Indians too began to publish Indian newspapers.
  • The first newspaper to come out was the weekly Bengal Gazette, brought out by Gangadhar Bhattacharya.
  • Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread new ideas, but they also shaped the nature of debate. A wider public could now participate in public discussions and express their views.
  • There were intense controversies between the social and religious reformers and Hindu orthodoxy over matters like widow immolation, monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood and idolatory. So that these ideas and thoughts could reach a wider audience, newspapers were printed in the spoken language of ordinary people.
  • Rammohan Roy published the Sambad Kaumudi from 1821 and the Hindu orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to oppose his opinions.
  • Two Persian newspapers, Jam-i-Jahan Nama and Shamsul Akhbar were also published.
  • Newspapers and journals not only helped the publication of conflicting opinions but also connected people and communities in different parts of India. Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another, creating Pan-Indian identities.
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