What were the short-term and long-term positive benefits of the printing press?

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In the age of Internet communication, it seems almost impossible to think the hand-cranked printing press was the height of technological advancement. Many cultural historians consider the printing press one of the greatest, if not the greatest, invention of man. 

In 1440, the world—especially Western Civilization—was about to undergo a momentous shift. The printing press would play a major role in that shift. The biggest short-term and long-term positive contribution of the printing press was and is the ability to disseminate knowledge quickly. Through the printing press, more people could have access to new ideas, and those ideas radically changed the landscape of the Holy Roman Empire. 

Another short-term and long-term positive benefit of the printing press is the industry that grew around it. This industry has been responsible for political revolutions (pamphleteers and publishers were largely responsible for galvanizing support for the American Revolution), expanding human understanding, and providing a mode of communication among societies that serves as a record of human history.  

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