NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern world

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern world are given in this article. These solutions will help you learn the facts and events easily. With these solutions, you will also learn the right way to write your answers perfectly in exams. We have updated the NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern world for the current session so that you can easily score high marks in the exams. You can also download PDF of the solutions and use them whenever you are offline.

Class 10 History Chapter 5 NCERT Solutions PDF Download

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Question 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 mid-sixteenth century.

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

Answer: (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 a great religious reformer of Germany. In 1517, he wrote 95 theses that criticised the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Very soon, thousands of copies of Luther’s writings were printed and read widely. He was deeply moved by realising the power of printing and was grateful to it. He considered print as the ultimate gift of God. This led to the beginning of the reformation movement. This is the reason why 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-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) According to Mahatma Gandhi, the liberty of speech, liberty of press and freedom of association were three most powerful weapons of expressing and cultivating public opinion. No nation can survive without these three prerequisites. If a country wants to get freedom from foreign domination then these three liberties are very important.

Question 2: 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

Answer: (a) The Gutenberg Press: It was the first printing press that was developed by Johan Gutenberg. He spent his childhood in a large agricultural estate and had good experience in operating olive and wine presses. By 1448, he developed a modified version of olive and wine presses. With this new printing press, the first book he printed was Bible. This press had a long handle attached to the screw. The screw was turned with help of the handle which in turn pressed down the platen over the printing block that was placed on the top of a sheet of damp paper. The lead moulds were used for casting the metal types for the letters of alphabet.

(b) Erasmus’s idea of printed book: Erasmus was the Latin scholar and a Catholic reformer. He criticized the printing of books because he was afraid that this would lead to the circulation of books that were full of rebellious ideas. He thought that majority of the books were irrelevant and illogical which would only spread the scandalous and irreligious ideas. According to him, with such books coming in large numbers, the significance of valuable literature would be lost.

(c) The Vernacular Press Act: This act was passed in 1878 by the British government in India. This act gave the government with tyrannical rights to censor reports and editorials in the Vernacular Press.  If a Vernacular Paper published any seditious report and the newspaper ignored the initial warning, then the press was seized and the printing machinery confiscated.

Question 3: What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth century India mean to:
(a) Women
(b) The poor
(c) Reformers

Answer: (a) Women: 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”.

(c) Reformers: 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 same.


Question 1: Why did some people in eighteenth century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?

Answer: 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.

Question 2: Why did some people fear the effect of easily available printed books? Choose one example from Europe and one from India.

Answer:  Some people, especially from the upper class fear the effect of easily available printed books due to the spread of literacy among the common people. They feared that they might lose their position or authorities. Some people thought that it might lead to the spread of rebellions and irreligious thoughts.

(i) In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church tried to curb the printed books through the Index of Prohibited Books.
(ii) In India, the Vernacular Press Act imposed restrictions on Indian press and various local newspapers.

Question 3: What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth century India?

Answer: The effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth century India were:

  • The poor people were benefited from the spread of print culture as they got access to the low-price books.
  • Many social reformers wrote books and essays enlightening the caste discrimination prevailing in the country. These were read by people across the country.
  • In 1871, Jyotiba Phule wrote about the poor condition of the low caste people. In the 20th century, BR Ambedkar also wrote powerfully against the caste system.
  • EV Ramaswamy Naicker, also known as Periyar, wrote about the caste system prevailing in Madras.
  • The poor now became more aware of their rights and their place in society. 

Question 4: Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.

Answer: The print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India in the following ways:

  • Books, magazines and newspapers helped in the spread of new ideas. They also shaped the nature of debate that assisted the growth of nationalism.
  • Gandhiji spread his ideas of Swadeshi in a powerful way through newspaper.
  • Many vernacular newspapers reported oppressive methods of colonial rule and helped to spread the nationalism in India.
  • National leaders tried to mobilize public opinion of Indian masses through the national dailies to unite them for the cause of nationalism.
  • Printers like Raja Ravi Verma and Rabindranath Tagore produced images of Bharatmata which produced a sense of nationalism among Indians. The ever increasing devotion to mother figure could be seen as an evidence of people’s nationalism.
  • Print culture not only encouraged nationalist activities, but it also connected communities and people living in different parts of India.

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World: Chapter Overview

In this chapter you learn about the following topics:

  • The First Printed Books
  • Print Comes to Europe
  • The Print Revolution and Its Impact
  • The Reading Mania
  • The Nineteenth Century
  • India and the World of Print
  • Religious Reform and Public Debates
  • New Forms of Publication
  • Print and Censorship