The Most Important Event In History

I think the most important event in history was the creation of the movable type printing press. I think this is the event that revolutionizedcommunication and was one of the main factors in creating the modern world.

In the past, books were very expensive. Instead of being able to mass-produce them, each book had to be handwritten, which took a lot of time and effort. The person who wrote each book was called a scribe and it might take them a year or even several years to copy a book by hand. The movable type printing press changed all that, allowing people to produce many copies.

In Europe, Johannes Gutenberg introduced the movable type printing press. The first book he published was the Bible. In the centuries after Gutenberg, the printing industry flourished. Not only did the printing press allow for the printing of cheap books, it also allowed for the publishing of pamphlets and newspapers.

This drastically changed society. In the past most people were illiterate, but soon after the printing press was introduced literacy increased. Historians estimate that only about 10 to 30 percent of Europeans could read and write in the 14th century but by the early 19th century about 60 percent of people were literate.

Learning about new things became much easier because people could access books and articles helping them learn new things. Science was able to flourish after the introduction of the printing press and many important new ideas were spread through its use.

The printing press also led to many changes in European society. Throughout The Middle Ages the Catholic Church controlled the religious lives of Europeans as the main form of Christianity. The Church could keep this control because most literate people were priests, monks, or nuns in the Catholic Church. Most scribes worked for the Church and most people outside the Church had never read the Bible.

The introduction of printing led to the publishing of many Bibles. People who had no access to the Bible before were able to read it now. Some people interpreted it differently from the Catholic Church. Because they disagreed with the Catholic Church’s interpretation they left the Church and created their own different forms of Christianity.

Printing had a similar effect on politics. In the same way that the Catholic Church controlled religion, monarchies controlled politics. Although The Middle Ages had its share of political agreements, illiteracy made it difficult for new political ideas to spread. The invention of printing was very important in spreading new political ideas, such as human rights and democracy, although the supremacy of monarchies would not end until the 20th century. From the Renaissance onward many writers discussed the problems of monarchies and could learn from old Greek and Roman books about the ideas of democracy. Printing allowed people to learn about different forms of government.

The invention of printing drastically changed science, society, and religion throughout the world. Our entire modern world is the product of the introduction of printing, which is why I consider it the most important event in history.



revolutionize (v) ? to change (something) very much or completely
mass-produced (adj.) ? something which is produced in large numbers by a machine
flourish (v) ? to be very successful : to do very well
drastically (adverb) ? extreme in effect or action
literacy (n) ? the ability to read and write
flourish (v) ? grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way
interpretation (n) ? an explanation or opinion of what something means