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

Share this:

Here you will get NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World will help in building a great foundation of knowledge and make easy for the students to understand basics. Our NCERT questions and solutions are created by experts and masters so students can rely on the accuracy and the details we provide. Each Chapter 5 Class 10 History NCERT Solutions is written in a manner that makes it easy for anyone to understand the concepts better.

Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 History NCERT 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 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.


(a) China had the technology of woodblock printing. Marco Polo, an Italian explorer, stayed for several years in China. In 1295, he returned to Italy and took along with him the knowledge of the future success of woodblock printing there. Thereafter, Italy began producing books with woodblocks and soon the technology spread to other parts of Europe. By the early fifteenth century, woodblocks were being widely used in Europe to print textiles, playing cards and religious images with simple brief texts.

(b) In 1517 Martin Luther wrote his famous Ninety Five Theses criticising many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. These writings were immediately reproduced in vast numbers and read widely which led to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament sold 5,000 copies within a few weeks. The printing press was a great invention that made possible all of this. Deeply grateful to print, Luther said, ‘Printing is the ultimate gift of God and the greatest one.’ Several scholars think that print brought about a new intellectual atmosphere and helped spread the ideas that led to the Reformation.

(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 a record of those banned books.

(d) Freedom of speech and publication were considered by Gandhi as powerful vehicles for expressing public opinion. He was of the opinion that these freedoms were pre-requisites for attaining swaraj which meant self-rule. He criticised the British government to crush these freedoms by passing acts – Vernacular Press Act in 1878, which were a sign of oppressive policy. The denial of these freedoms undermined the idea of self-rule and independence.

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


(a) The first printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg. 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 molds for the letters of the alphabet. His technique later was adopted by many countries around the world.

(b) Erasmus was a Latin scholar and a Catholic reformer. He made a point of criticizing the print medium for being too influential on scholarship, considering that some of the books published were valuable and others were simply a nuisance. Erasmus accused publishers of publishing “stupid, slanderous, scandalous, raving, irreligious and seditious” ideas in their supply of books. He believes that a large number of books has made quality writing less valuable.

(c) The Vernacular Press Act was based on the Irish Press Laws and passed in 1878. The Vernacular Press Act 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) In 19th century, the spread of print culture brought educational reform for women in India. The liberal families supported the education of women to study or read. The conservative Hindus believed that a literate girl would be widowed and Muslims feared that educated women would be corrupted by reading Urdu romances. 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.

(b) During the age of print in India, members of the poor class benefitted from the availability of low-priced books and public libraries. There were many essays written against caste discrimination and its inherent injustices that enlightened people and spread across India. 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 made it easier for social and religious reformers to spread their ideas through books and newspapers. 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.


1. Why did some people in 18th century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?


• During the 18th century, people in Europe thought that print culture would bring enlightenment and would lead to the end of despotism.

• Print culture enabled literature to spread widely and cheaply, thus becoming available to everyone, therefore could not be restricted to the upper classes.

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

• Voltaire and Rousseau’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.

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


Some people especially from upper class and powerful class feared the effects of easily available printed books. 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.

• 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.

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


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

• The spread of print culture in India helped the poor. They were able to have access to low-priced books and public libraries.

• Enlightening essays were written against caste discrimination and injustices. These were read by the common people across the country.

• 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.

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


• Nationalist feelings and revolutionary ideas were secretly spread by the dailies like – The Amrit Bazar Patrika, The Indian Mirror, Kesri, The Hindu, Bombay Samachar etc. Through these newspapers national leaders always tried to mobilize public opinion of Indian masses and unite them for the cause of nationalism.

• The common people began questioning the authority due to the power of reasoning.

• The social reformers were able to publish their information in a more effective way by using newspapers which sparked off public debates.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.