Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Printing Press, Humanism, the Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation

The printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1440 in Germany. The printing press changed how information was spread throughout the world. It allowed for books to be printed faster, cheaper, and with more efficiency. The first books printed by the printed press where bibles. The first Bible to be printed was known as the Gutenberg Bible. This helped spread the word throughout the world.

But the printing press also allowed other religious beliefs to come about. One of the biggest one of these was Humanism. Humanism was the belief that humans determine their own fate. That they can choose what they believe what is wrong and right. In Humanism if something happened to a person it was believed that the gods were punishing them for their wrong choices.

Humanism is related to the Renaissance in several ways. During the Renaissance the printing press helped spread information based in the liberal arts. People became more interested in Roman and Greek texts, which included science, geometry, philosophy, art, and poetry. The printing press allowed these subjects to reach more people quicker and easier. People were able to learn this when they wanted and where they wanted. It increased the amount of learning throughout the world. The way that Humanism is related to the Renaissance is that people who believed in Humanism believed that all the liberal arts should be enjoyed by all people of all wealth statuses. They believed that the liberal arts was a way to express oneself so they encouraged the learning of these arts.

The printing press also affected the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was a monk in Germany who was becoming tired of the way the Catholic church was treating its power. He felt that they were abusing their rule and not teaching things they way that they should have been. So he posted 95 theses on the wall of the church and basically left the church to form his own. The printing press helped him spread the word of how the church was acting and how he was changing. He was able to print off pamphlets to spread the word. He was able to give these out in quantity, which helped spread his ideas to the masses. He was then able to gain more and more followers through this.

The printing press definitely changed the world during this time; from religion, to the liberal arts, to ideals.

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