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How did the printing press help promote European exploration in the fifteenth century?

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friedch1cken | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:28 AM via web

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How did the printing press help promote European exploration in the fifteenth century?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:56 AM (Answer #1)

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The printing press was not as important as inventions like the caravel (which allowed explorers to have a better chance at sailing in tough conditions) or the compass (which allowed them to know which direction they were going).  However, it was important in that it allowed knowledge to spread very easily around Europe.

Once Columbus had "discovered" the New World, (or once explorers had sailed around Africa) news of his discovery and discussions of it could travel very quickly.  This was because such reports could simply be printed rather than being copied by hand.  As more people became aware of the discovery, more people wanted to get out and go searching for places where they could make money and (for countries) gain power.

In this way, the printing press helped promote exploration.

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