If it weren’t for Johann Gutenberg and the printing press, what position do you think society would be in today in terms of its literature and economy?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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On one level, society would be no different if Gutenberg had never lived.  There is no doubt that someone else would have invented the printing press.  It would have been a little later and possibly in a different place, but the overall course of history would not be much different.

If, however, you are assuming that the printing press never got invented, the world would be infinitely poorer.  We would be poorer in literary terms because the vast majority of people would own no books and would not have access to them.  Shakespeare and his plays might well be unknown, for example.  We would be poorer economically because there would be a much lower standard of education.  We would not have public schools with textbooks for every child.  Our lack of education would mean less technological development and less economic growth.

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