During the Middle Ages, the time consuming process of copying books by hand made the spread of new ideas very slow. People often worked very hard to solve problems that had already been solved, but they had no access to that information.
Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the moveable type printing press was one of the main factors that created the explosion of ideas known as the Renaissance, a revolutionary period in the arts and sciences. Faster and cheaper printing made books available to many people for the first time. This spread of knowledge led to a new fascination with the learning that swept through Europe. Ideas became more realistic and less dominated by religion, sometimes creating conflict between scientists and the church.
In class activities:
- Assembled and printed using our own moveable type
- Explored Renaissance leisure activities and practiced walking on stilts
- Discussed the time consuming process of creating machines by hand
- Considered the changes to the Church and to society in general as books became increasingly available
- Added to our Medieval notebook
For additional information on this subject:
- Read Ink on His Fingers by Louise A. Vernon (127p.)
- Watch an animation of how the printing press works
Assignment due 1/24
- Practice your timeline
- Read history cards 26-32