Print Culture and the Modern World NCERT Textbook PDF

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Chapter 7: Print Culture and the Modern World

To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one hand and towns and villages on the other? Towns and cities that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increasein food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of non-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power, administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions, and intellectual activity, and supported various social groups such as artisans, merchants and priests.

Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine political and economic functions for an entire region, and support very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with limited functions.

This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern world. We will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples of metropolitan development. The first is London, the largest city in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and the second is Bombay, one of the most important modern cities in the Indian subcontinent.

As London grew, crime flourished. We are told that 20,000 criminals were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of widespread concern. The police were worried about law and order, philanthropists were anxious about public morality, and industrialists wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force.

So the population of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their ways of life were investigated. In the mid-nineteenth century, Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes on London labour and compiled long lists of those who made a living from crime. Many of whom he listed as ‘criminals’ were in fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were others who were more skilled at their trade, and expert at their jobs.

They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves crowding the streets of London. In an attempt to discipline the population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’. Factories employed large numbers of women in the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. With technological developments, women gradually lost their industrial jobs, and were forced to work within households.

The 1861 census recorded a quarter of a million domestic servants in London, of whom the vast majority were women, many of them recent migrants. A large number of women used their homes to increase family income by taking in lodgers or through such activities as tailoring, washing or matchbox making.

However, there was a change once again in the twentieth century. As women got employment in wartime industries and offices, they withdrew from domestic service. Large number of children were pushed into low-paid work, often by their parents.

Andrew Mearns, a clergyman who wrote The Bitter Cry of Outcast London in the 1880s, showed why the crime was more profitable than labouring in small underpaid factories: ‘A child seven years old is easily known to make 10 shillings 6 pence a week from thieving … Before he can gain as much as the young thief [a boy] must make 56 gross of matchboxes a week, or 1,296 a day.’ It was only after the passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1902, that children were kept out of industrial work.

Language English
No. of Pages26
PDF Size6.3 MB
CategorySocial Science

NCERT Solutions Class 11 Social Science Chapter 7 Print Culture and the Modern World

Q.1 Give reason for the following:

  1. Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295.
  2. Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it.
  3. The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of prohibited books from the mid-sixteenth century
  4. Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for the liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association.

Solution: (a) Marco Polo, the Italian explorer, visited China and learnt the technology of woodblock printing. When he returned to Italy in 1295, he brought this knowledge back with him. Gradually this knowledge spread from Italy to other parts of Europe.

(b) In 1517, Martin Luther, the religious reformer, wrote ninety-five theses that criticised the corrupt practices of the Catholic Church and pasted these on the church door in Wittenberg. Very soon, thousands of copies of Luther’s theses were printed, spreading his ideas among people. Martin Luther was deeply moved by realizing the power of printing, which brought about the reformation movement and the eventual birth of Protestantism.

(c) Print and popular literature encouraged many distinctive interpretations of religious faiths and ideas. In the 16th century, Manocchio, a roller in Italy, began to read books available readily in his locality. He gave a new interpretation of the Bible and formulated a view of God and creation that enraged the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, Manocchio was hauled up twice and ultimately executed when the Roman Catholic Church began its inquisition.

(d) Mahatma Gandhi said these words in 1922 during the Non-cooperation Movement (1920-22). According to him, without the liberty of speech, the liberty of the press and freedom of association, no nation can even survive. If the country was to get free from foreign domination, then these liberties were quite important.

Q.2 Write short notes on what you know about:

  1. The Gutenberg Press
  2. Erasmus’s idea of the printed book
  3. The Vernacular Press Act

Solution: (a) The Gutenberg Press was the first printing press of Europe. It was invented by Johannes Gutenberg of Strasbourg. He grew up in a large agricultural estate and had knowledge and experience in operating olive and wine presses. He invented the printing press around the year 1448 with the Bible being the first book to be printed.

(b) Erasmus, the Latin scholar, was not happy with the printing of books because he was afraid that this would lead to the circulation of books with rebellious ideas. He felt that although a few books may give useful information, the majority of books may just be irrelevant or illogical through which scandalous of irreligious ideas will spread, ultimately leading to incitement of rebellion.

(c) The Vernacular Press Act was passed in 1878 by the British government in India. This act provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the Vernacular Press. If a Vernacular Paper published any seditious material, the paper was banned, and its printing machinery was seized and destroyed.

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Chapter 7 Print Culture and the Modern World PDF Free Download

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