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

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World helps students to score good marks in the exams. These NCERT Solutions are prepared by expert teachers and based on the latest pattern and edition NCERT book. Here we have provided answers to all the questions in very easy language.

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

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Question 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.

Answer: (a) Woodblock print was invented around the sixth century in China. It came to Europe, along with Marco Polo, in 1295. Marco Polo returned to Italy after many years of exploration in China, and he brought the knowledge of woodblock print with him on his return.

(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it because it was a powerful tool for the Protestant Reformation, which he led. The printing press enabled the rapid and widespread dissemination of his ideas, including his criticisms of the Catholic Church and his translations of the Bible into the vernacular. This technology allowed for the mass production of pamphlets, leaflets, and books, greatly enhancing Luther’s ability to reach a wider audience and challenge the existing religious and social order in Europe. Luther’s endorsement of printing technology played a crucial role in the spread of Reformation ideas.

(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an index of Prohibited books from the mid-sixteenth century because its authority was being put in danger by the several individuals and distinctive readings and questionings of faith prompted by the easily accessible popular religious literature. To supplement its inquisition and repression of heretical ideas, the Roman Catholic Church exercised strict control over publishers and booksellers, and also began to keep an Index of Prohibited Books from 1558.

(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for the liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association because he considered these to be powerful modes of expression and cultivation of public opinion. The denial of these freedoms was not compatible with the idea of self-rule and independence. Hence, the fight for these freedoms, according to him, was intrinsically a fight for Swaraj or self-rule.

Question 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 Gutenberg Press: The Gutenberg Press, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century, revolutionized printing. It introduced movable metal type for printing, enabling the mass production of books and documents. This innovation significantly reduced production costs, making books more accessible. It played a pivotal role in disseminating knowledge, promoting literacy, and influencing key historical movements like the Renaissance and Reformation. The Gutenberg Press is celebrated as one of history’s most influential inventions, transforming the dissemination of information and shaping cultural and intellectual developments. The Gutenberg Press was the first-known printing press in the 1430s.

(b) Erasmus’s idea of the printed book: Erasmus was a catholic reformer and a Latin Scholar. He had expressed deep anxiety about Printing. He said that even publications lose values because of seditious, irreligious, raving, slanderous, ignorant, stupid books. He said that books have trifling things. He said that although books are found in every corner of the world, few books here and there might have knowledge which is worth knowing but the rest of them are hurtful for scholarship, due to the glut it creates.

(c) The Vernacular Press Act: The Vernacular Press Act was a repressive law imposed by the British colonial government in India in 1878. It aimed to control and censor Indian-language newspapers that criticized British policies. Under this act, authorities could confiscate printing equipment, impose fines, and jail newspaper editors for publishing dissenting views. The law severely reduced freedom of the press and suppressed Indian voices against colonial rule. It was met with strong opposition from Indian nationalists, journalists, and leaders, highlighting the struggle for free expression and the press’s role in India’s fight for independence.

Question 3: What did the spread of print culture in nineteenth century India mean to:
(a) Women
(b) The poor
(c) Reformers


(a) Women: Women in nineteenth-century India experienced significant changes with the spread of print culture. Print provided access to education and information, enabling some women to become writers, editors, and readers. It played a role in the emergence of women’s publications and the promotion of social reform. Women’s participation in print culture allowed them to voice their concerns, advocate for women’s rights, and address issues like child marriage and widowhood. It marked a step toward greater gender equality and empowerment as women became more active in public discourse and social reform movements through printed literature.

(b) The poor: In nineteenth-century India, the spread of print culture had a significant impact on the poor. Very cheap, small books were sold at markets and crossroads in towns like Madras, making them accessible to poor people. This allowed those who could afford these inexpensive books to access reading material. The early twentieth century saw the establishment of public libraries, primarily in cities, towns, and sometimes in prosperous villages. These libraries expanded access to books for the poor. On the encouragement and support of social reformers, some factory workers, despite being overworked and generally lacking education, managed to write about their experiences. For instance, Kashibaba, a millworker from Kanpur, wrote “Chhote Aur Bade Ka Sawal” in 1938, highlighting caste and class exploitation.

(c) Reformers: Print culture’s popularity was an advantage for social and religious reformers as they could now spread their opinions, through newspapers and books, across the masses. They used print to criticize prevailing social practices and to suggest new ones. Reformers used print to challenge rigid social norms and structures. For instance, Raja Rammohan Roy used print to argue against practices like sati and to promote modern education. Print culture facilitated debates and discussions on various social issues, allowing different viewpoints to be presented and discussed among the literate public. Print was a medium for cultural and educational reform. Reformers used it to promote new forms of literature, education, and cultural practices that were in line with their vision of a modern society.


Question 1: Why did some people in eighteenth century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?

Answer: In eighteenth-century Europe, some people believed that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism for the following reasons:

  1. Spread of Enlightened Thinking: Print culture was seen as a medium to spread enlightened thinking, which emphasized reason, scientific inquiry, and human rights. Books and pamphlets could circulate new ideas more widely and quickly than ever before.
  2. Critical Examination of Authority: Print allowed for the critical examination of traditional authority and despotism. Philosophers and thinkers used printed texts to question and critique established institutions and beliefs.
  3. Educating the Public: The increasing availability of books and the rise of literacy meant that more people could access new ideas. This education was viewed as key to enlightening the public and fostering rational and informed citizenry.
  4. Promoting Rational Debate: Print culture facilitated the exchange of ideas and debates on governance, society, and science. This was considered essential for the development of a more rational and just society.
  5. Undermining Censorship and Control: Although governments and authorities tried to control and censor print, the sheer volume and diversity of material made this difficult. Thus, print was seen as a means to circumvent censorship and challenge despotic rule.

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

Answer: Some people feared the effect of easily available printed books, both in Europe and India, due to concerns over social and political stability and the spread of ideas that could challenge existing structures.

Example from Europe: In Europe, particularly during the Enlightenment and the subsequent revolutionary periods, there was a fear among the ruling classes and conservative segments of society that the widespread availability of printed material could encourage revolutionary ideas. Books and pamphlets were distributing Enlightenment thoughts, which often questioned the traditional authority of the monarchy and the church. The concern was that these ideas could incite the public, leading to social unrest and political upheaval.

Example from India: In India, during British rule, the colonial authorities and some conservative sections In India, during British rule, the colonial authorities and some conservative sections of society feared the widespread availability of printed books. They were concerned that these books could spread nationalist and anti-colonial sentiments among the Indian population. The British were particularly wary of the dissemination of seditious materials that could inspire resistance against colonial rule. This led to the enactment of laws to control the press and restrict the publication and distribution of material considered politically sensitive or incendiary.

Question 3: What were the effects of the spread of print culture for poor people in nineteenth century India?

Answer: The spread of print culture in nineteenth-century India had positive effects on the poor. It provided access to information, promoted basic education, raised awareness of social issues, encouraged political participation, empowered individuals to express their opinions, and contributed to community building. However, the extent of these benefits varied based on factors like literacy and access to printed materials, and it did not eliminate structural inequalities.

Question 4: Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.

Answer: Print culture in India played a crucial role in nurturing nationalism by spreading nationalist ideas through newspapers and journals in various Indian languages. These publications informed people about the discriminatory policies of the British, fostering a sense of unity against colonial rule. Additionally, they revived interest in India’s cultural heritage and traditions, which helped strengthen a sense of national identity. Print media also provided a platform for openly critiquing colonial policies and exposing their exploitative nature, contributing to a growing discontent with British rule. This, in turn, facilitated the mobilization and organization of movements and protests against colonialism, uniting people across different regions and communities in the shared goal of achieving independence.

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RS Aggarwal Solutions For Class 10RD Sharma Solutions For Class 10

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