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Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 Notes CBSE History Chapter 5 (Free PDF Download)

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 Notes History Chapter 4 - PDF Download

CBSE Class 10 History Revision Notes for Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World is very important for the students to understand the concepts of printing culture across India, Europe, and Japan. It also explains the Print Revolution and its impact worldwide. Class 10 History Chapter 5 will thus help the students to get a wider picture of the print culture and how the new forms of publications were created.

The revision provided on this page will also help the students to revise these topics during their last-minute preparation. Students can also download the free PDF for CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 5 Revision Notes by clicking on the "Download PDF" option provided below.

Important Topics in Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture

With the CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 5 Notes, students will learn about the following topics:

  • First Printed Books in Japan and Europe

  • The Print Revolution

  • Impact of the Printing Revolution

  • Print Culture

  • French Revolution

  • India and the World of Prints

  • New Forms of Publication

  • Print and the Poor People

  • Print and Censorship

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Access Class 10 Social Science(History) Chapter 5 - Print Culture and The Modern World Notes

More than 5,500 years ago, people started writing. However, it took time and effort to write manually or inscribe on materials like stone, leather, etc. So for a long time, ideas and knowledge were spread orally among the masses. 

It was only after the invention of printing that ideas started to travel faster. Books, newspapers, historical documents, autobiographies, scientific documents, etc., contributed tremendously to the world's progress. 

Your NCERT Class 10 Social Science History Chapter 5 talks about how printing technology came into being and how the print culture shaped society, ideas, and knowledge.

Printing In China:

  • Although the Sumerian civilizations used some primary forms of printing, China is considered the birthplace of printing. Woodblock printing first originated in this country. 

  • In China, woodblock printing started from 594 AD onwards. And when the Tang Dynasty came to power in 618 AD, the emperors immensely helped in the progress of woodblock printing.

Printing In Japan:

  • In Japan, the Chinese missionaries propagated the art of printing to spread Buddhism. This is how hand printing technology came to Japan from 768 AD onwards. 

  • Diamond Sutra is regarded as the earliest known printed Japanese book. This book is regarded as the world’s oldest printed book. It was dated May 11, 868 AD. 

Printing In Europe: 

  • As you have read previously, China supplied Silk materials to Europe. The route through which the traders of China met buyers of the West and vice versa is known as the Silk Route. 

  • It is through this same route the Chinese paper traveled to Europe. Before this, in Europe, Vellum or animal skin was used to write on. But it was expensive and catered only to the aristocrats. 

  • In 1925, painting was brought back to Italy by Marco Polo's knowledge but the cost of painting decreased as woodblock printing spread in Italy.


The invention of woodblock could only help printing in a limited way. As the demand increased, the woodblock printing proved incapable of handling too much load. This is where Johannes Gutenberg came into the scene in the 15th century. 

Gutenberg, who grew up in an agricultural estate, saw how the grapes and olives were pressed to extract the liquids. He became a goldsmith and used to create lead moulds to produce trinkets of his desired shape.


Gutenberg drew inspiration from the above two works and made the world’s first printing press. He - 

  • Used moulds to make metals resembling the alphabet. 

  • Used a press similar to olive press to press the paper against the inked metal types.

There are reasons why Gutenberg’s printing press is known as a revolutionary invention: 

  • The woodblocks were not moveable, and hence printing with them was inefficient. 

  • It took too much time to make the wooden block itself. Thirdly, the wooden blocks were not so durable. Gutenberg used metal as opposed to wooden blocks. These metal-made alphabets were moveable, so one can use the same set of alphabets to print various sentences. 

  • Gutenberg’s printing press brought about the print revolution. Later in the 16th century, 200 million copies of printed books were in circulation.

The Print Revolution: 

There was no internet, smartphones, or laptops in the 16th century. Books became the medium for spreading ideas and knowledge. 

  • More books came into the market when the cost of the books was reduced.

  • A new reading public emerged who had to rely on oral methods earlier to get new ideas and knowledge. 

  • To make the books popular even to illiterate people, the printers heavily relied on illustrations that would attract these people. Then these books were read aloud so that the illiterate people could know what was written in the book.

  • The Religious Implications the book talks about how the Church was against printing any and every idea under the sun. But let us go a little back in time - 

  • Vejas Liulevicius informs us that Gutenberg was a clever businessman. He approached the Roman Catholic Church to show how his printing press can propagate the teachings and instructions of the Church. So, in the beginning, the printing press and the Church were friends. 

  • It was only after the death of Gutenberg that the printing press started to be used by the Protestants like Martin Luther. 

  • The Roman Catholic Church later concluded that low-cost printed books would spread anti-Christian ideas and undermine the authority of the Church.

Readership Increased in the 17th and 18th Century:

As literacy increased in the 17th and 18th century the number of readers skyrocketed. Many schools were set up. So the demand for children’s books also increased. 

From this period onwards, we see that many different types of books started emerging. There were chapbooks - which were highly cheap books meant for poor people. 

Periodicals too came into existence during this time. Scientific documents started getting printed, and many other scientifically minded people got access to these documents. Similar was the case for philosophical and political books. 

Revolution and Print:

  • The printed books spread progressive ideas across Europe. Thanks to people like Voltaire and Rousseau, people started questioning. They started wondering if the emperors were divinely blessed. 

  • People learned to use reason and logic. They stopped believing what the kings or the Church said. The spread of revolutionary ideals is through books acted as a catalyst for the French Revolution and the later nationalistic revolutions. 

  • Yes, the Church also spread propaganda through printed books, but the people had already learned to take everything with a grain of salt.

  • As time progressed, print technology became more advanced. Richard Hoe made the rotary printing press efficient. He employed four cylinders - one for the type and 3 fed the paper in the kind. This made printing 8000 sheets of paper per hour possible. Balck and white print gave way to colored print. 

Print In India:

  • Before the print culture came to India, Indians leveraged manuscripts. These manuscripts were mainly made of palm leaves. 

  • The printing press was bought by the Portuguese Missionaries to India (Goa). 

  • The English printing press was late to emerge. 

  • Indians, too, started printing newspapers like the Bengal Gazette. 

  • Vernacular newspapers appeared, such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy's Samvad Kamudi, Persian newspaper Shamsul Akhbar, Gujarati language newspaper Bombay Samachar. 

  • Here too, orthodox Hindu and Muslim leaders published propagandist materials. 

  • Holy religious texts like Ramcharit Manas came out in the printed form. 

  • Cartoons and caricatures in newspapers are not a modern phenomenon. From 1870 onwards, newspapers carried satirical cartoons. 

  • Women, too, were encouraged to read by their liberal fathers or husbands. In orthodox households, they secretly learned to read. Many books meant for women readers came up. However, some of these books were about women and not necessarily for women. 

  • Inexpensive, printed books catered to poor people. 

  • People like Jyotiba Phule, B.R Ambedkar published books on social issues.

Muffling the Print: 

  • During the initial years, the company silenced people like Hickey, who criticized the company’s way of work. After the Sepoy Mutiny, the British started censoring the Indian newspapers and radical books. 

  • In 1878, the draconian Vernacular Press Act was passed that seriously undermined press freedom. The more the British tried to silence the nationalistic press, the more nationalistic newspapers and books came out. 

  • For example, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, during this time, wrote Kesari to voice the Indian Nationalist Movement.

Important Question and Answers

1. Why did people in Europe welcome the print culture? 

Ans: The print culture helped in the spread of books that talked about revolutionary ideals. For example, Rousseau’s Social Contract spoke about the radical view that the government could govern only after the consent of the governed. 

These kinds of revolutionary ideas were hitherto unforeseen. They forced people to think, use logic. They made people realise that there was nothing divine about the kings and queens of Europe. 

These books talked about liberty and equality for all. So the people of Europe welcomed the print culture because it aimed to attack dictatorship and monarchy.

2. Why were some people not happy with the easy availability of printed books?

Ans: The Church thought that the easy availability of cheap books would result in the proliferation of irreligious ideas that would result in the people not listening to the clergy's sermons. 

These cheap books were written in colloquial language. So the general people who did not know Latin could also read these books. This could undermine the authority of the Church. 

In India, the British were not happy with the printed books that propagated the idea of nationalism. So when Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote Kesari in support of the Punjabi nationalist, he was jailed.

3. Write a brief note on the Gutenberg Press.

Ans: As the wooden block printing technique came to Italy (and Europe), thanks to Marco Polo, many books were published, and people started buying more and more books. But the block printing technology could not handle so much demand. Gutenberg took inspiration from wine and olive press and lead mold.

He created a movable type with the help of mold and employed the technique used in the olive press to print by pressing a paper against the metallic and movable type. Since the alphabets of the kind were movable, he could use the same type to print various sentences. And the metallic type was durable too.


Gutenberg’s printing press brought about a print revolution across the world. Other materials and books could be printed quickly. The printing press helped spread new ideas among the masses.

4. What was the theme of the earliest dated book, Diamond Sutra?

Ans: The Smithsonian Magazine informs us that the Diamond Sutra was a book containing Buddhist sacred texts. As the Diamond cuts through even the most complex materials, these Buddhist Sutras are meant to cut the curtain of illusion. 

The book, as Buddhanet explains, is all about the concept of ‘not dwelling’ or the attainment of Prajna Paramita.

5. How did the print and the oral culture intermingle? 

Ans:After Gutenberg came up with the printing press in the 15th century, printed materials became quite popular. However, there were thousands upon thousands of illiterates during that time who could not read. So, to make the printed books appealing to them, the books incorporated many illustrations that resonated with them. 

Once they got interested in the books, the contents were read loudly to let them know what was written. Thus, the oral tradition helped propagate the print culture, and one complemented the other.

Print Culture and the Modern World: A Detailed Overview

Print Culture:

If you go through the Print Culture Class 10 Notes, you will know that the primary type of printing technology was architected by China, Japan and Korea. The type of printing practised was hand printing. The Print Culture and Modern World Notes give the knowledge that China was the first country to implement print culture. If you follow the Class 10 Print Culture Notes, you will find that printing in China was performed at a large level to conduct the Civil Services Examination.

Print culture notes also tell us that it was Japan who introduced the print culture after China as Buddhist textbooks were printed in Japan. The print culture had entered Europe along with Marco Polo who had explored China. As you go through the Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 Notes, you will come across that the demand for printing was eventually increased in Europe by leaps and bounds.

Print Culture and the Modern World Notes inform you that the printing revolution in Europe had begun with Gutenberg and his printing press in Germany. He invented a new technology of printing and the first printed book with his new technology was the Bible. If you download the PDF version of Class 10 History Chapter 5 Notes you will find that several printing presses were established at that time. A thorough study of the Print Culture and Modern World Notes will also reveal that the transformation from hand printing to mechanical printing has started the era of print revolution.

The Print Revolution and its After-Effects

In Class 10 Print Culture notes, print revolution and its after-effects are rightly depicted:

  • The print revolution reduced the cost of printing. The readers of various books eventually increased which changed the culture of reading books. In the earlier periods, only elite classes were allowed to read books. The print revolution had demolished this discriminating culture and common people were allowed to read books.

  • As you turn the leaves of the Print Culture and Modern World Notes minutely, you will find that the print revolution was not accepted by people in every sphere. The upper class did not welcome it as they feared that the large distribution of books could have a negative impact on people’s minds.

  • Books printed against the religious viewpoints were prohibited and many writers were executed.

  • The summary of Print Culture and the Modern World tells that the literacy rates in most portions of Europe shot up. There was a growing expansion of schools and literacy in Europe and for which more and more books were required to be printed.

  • Books were the symbols of expanding progress and enlightenment by the mid-eighteenth century.

Did You Know?

You will also find a hint of the French Revolution in the summary of Print Culture and the Modern World as the print revolution is also a part of the French Revolution. In the case of the French Revolution, three forms of disagreements were put forward:

  1. The ideas of enlightenment thinkers were popularized by the print culture. The people of France were introduced with new ideas through the print revolution.

  2. A fresh tradition of dialogue and debate was created by the print.

  3. The royalty was scorned and their morality was teased by the outpouring of literature by the 1780s.

Print Culture and the Modern World: Children, Women and Workers

The education in primary level became compulsory in the late 19th century only. The first children press was established in France in 1857. The white-collar workers, artisans and lower-middle-class people got educated by the lending libraries in England. There were also various magazines which were printed exclusively for women.

CBSE Class 10 History Notes - Other Chapters

CBSE Related Links

We hope you got a detailed understanding of Class 10 History Chapter 5 through these notes. Students can also check CBSE Class 10 History Revision Notes for all the other chapters that are available on Vedantu’s website. 


The availability of free PDF download notes for CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 5 - "Print Culture and the Modern World" is a valuable resource for students. These notes offer a structured and comprehensive overview of the transformative impact of print culture on society, communication, and knowledge dissemination. They simplify complex historical concepts, including the invention of the printing press and its role in shaping the modern world. These downloadable notes not only support academic success but also foster an understanding of the profound influence of print culture on the development of human civilization. Ultimately, they serve as an indispensable tool for students, enhancing their historical knowledge and critical thinking skills.

FAQs on Print Culture and the Modern World Class 10 Notes CBSE History Chapter 5 (Free PDF Download)

1. How is India Connected with the Print Culture?

India is enriched with the old tradition of handwritten manuscripts. These manuscripts were written on the palm leaves or paper made by hands. The first printing press was established in Goa by the Portuguese missionaries. The first book printed in India was a Tamil book printed by Catholic priests in the year 1579 in Cochin. With the advent of British East India Company, print culture expanded in many areas in India. Various magazines were also printed in India promoting the ideas of social reforms. Presently, a good number of newspapers, books, magazines and other such printed sources are printed in India. Printing machines are set up commercially and there has been a boost in the percentage of printed resources that reach the population of the country.

2. What is the Relationship Between Print and Censorship?

British East India Company was not so much concerned about censorship. Certain laws were enacted by the Calcutta Supreme Court to restrict the freedom of the press. The press laws were promised to be revised by Lord Bentinck in the year 1835. New regulations were designed by Thomas Macaulay. The most hated law regarding freedom of the press was known as the Vernacular Press Act in 1878. Vernacular newspapers were tracked by the government. At that time nationalist newspapers were developed in most of the parts of the country.

3. What is the chapter Print in Modern World Class 10 about?

CBSE Class 10 Social Science History Chapter 5 is about Print Culture in the Modern World. Here in this chapter, the origin of the printing press is discussed with relevance to the various revolutions that happened in order to start this culture occurring throughout the world like in Europe, China, Japan, India etc. The chapter also goes on to explain how the initiation of this print culture affected many people in both positive and negative ways. This chapter must be read thoroughly in order to develop proper knowledge of the concepts given in it. Vedantu offers detailed notes to help the student grasp the chapter.

4. What is Print culture?

Print Culture refers to the beginning of the printing of certain scripts in ancient times. Print culture is known to have begun in China where hand printing was implemented by the Chinese, which then navigated to Korea and Europe. In Europe, new techniques were used to print Bibles and the establishment of several printing presses was thus started all over the world slowly with time. Print culture is understood to be an important event in history since books have always been an important asset to mankind.

5. What do you know about Print in India?

Indian printing press culture was started by the Portuguese who navigated to Goa and started their printing press there. Before that, Indians used palm leaves to write manuscripts as a means of communication. Indians then started to develop their own printing presses and print various newspapers like Bengal Gazette, Samvad Kumudi etc. and religious books like the RamcharitManas in vernacular languages. Books for reading and studying were also printed that helped the women to read and learn as well in their households. 

6. How to score well in History Class 10 Chapter 5?

History is such a subject that needs extensive studying and revision. So you have to first make sure to clear the concepts of the topics included in your History syllabus. After that what you can do is refer to the revision notes that are provided on the webpage of Vedantu so that you are in constant practice. Vedantu also provides topic-wise explanations if you lack in the concepts. Apart from this, you must not forget to download the free PDF for the NCERT solutions available on the app and the website so that you can study from it later also.

7. Were people not happy with the printed books?

The Printing culture had many negative repercussions too from people at higher positions. For example in the Roman churches, the priests did not like the printing of books because they thought that this would lead to the propagation of irreligious ideas among people. They also thought that local people would also start reading despite not knowing Latin. Similarly in India, the British considered that printed books and newspapers would initiate the sense of nationalism and their position would be threatened.