Johannes Gutenberg: His 3 Contributions To The Renaissance

BornSpring of 1400
Died3rd of February 1468
Famous Quote“A spring of truth shall flow from it”
Known ForInventing the modern printing press
Region of WorldGermany, 15th century
Further ReadingThe 3 Impacts of the Printing Press on the Protestant Reformation

Johannes Gutenberg heavily contributed to the start and success of the Renaissance. His invention, the printing press, allowed for a rapid spread of knowledge and culture across Europe fostering the development of the Renaissance.

There are 3 contributions of Johannes Gutenberg to the Renaissance. First, Gutenberg gave Europe the ability to spread local culture and customs. Second, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press allowed nations to form bringing stability. Third, Johannes Guttenberg’s invention gave scholars across Europe unlimited access to ancient knowledge.

Johannes Gutenberg would be born in Germany during the Summer of 1400 in the city of Mainz. His family were goldsmiths who used presses to make gold items and currency. By the end of his life Gutenberg would go on to become one of the biggest contributors to the renaissance and human history.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 contributions of Johannes Gutenberg to the Renaissance.

Guttenberg Gave Europe the Ability to Share local Customs and Culture

One of Gutenberg’s main contributions to the Renaissance was the ability for local customs and culture to be shared around Europe.

The renaissance was a time period of massive revival of the arts and sciences. This was a possibility because of Gutenberg’s printing press which gave locals the ability to manufacture their own books in their local languages.

Almost overnight printing shops began to spring up across Europe. Each one of these printing shops would not print books in the ancient Latin language but rather produce books in the local dialect.

As a result local folklore culture was spread around Europe. The Renaissance marks a massive explosion in culture across Europe. The reason for this was Johannes Gutenberg’s contribution of giving local regions of Europe their own ability to print books to share their culture.

Today the reason we can visit regions across Europe and see beautiful pieces of art was because of this ability to have local places share their culture through text. Each small city across Europe strove to publish their own founding story and compete with other regions for tourism and mercantile investments.

None of this would have been possible without the contributions of Johannes Gutenberg.

Johannes Gutenberg Allowed Nations to Form Bringing Stability

One of the primary contributions towards the Renaissance by Johannes Gutenberg was giving Europe the power to form nations. This drastically increased stability across Europe in comparison to the medieval or dark ages.

During the medieval age there was no semblance of a nation anywhere. Each village saw themselves as a separate entity. The village next door was completely different in culture and knowledge.

The only thing that united the people of Europe was their religious ideology of Catholicism. Up until the protestant reformation the Catholic church controlled the production and dissemination of knowledge across Europe.

(if interested I wrote an article on how the printing press and Johannes Gutenberg contributed to the protestant reformation. You can read it by clicking here.)

The problem was that during the medieval age each village was controlled by a local warlord called a knight or king. These nobles would fight among themselves dragging the people in the villages into conflict.

This overtime drastically cut down on production capabilities and forced people to spend their time and energy on surviving.

Johannes Gutenberg’s contribution to the renaissance was to give the people a semblance of belonging to a larger group. With the printing press people could read about their neighbors in their local language.

As a result, villages stopped fighting amongst themselves and started to invest more time and energy into creating lasting pieces of art. This drastically increased stability across Europe.

This stability across Europe is one of the main contributions of Johannes Gutenberg to the Renaissance.

Guttenberg’s Printing Press Gave Scholars Across Europe Unlimited Access to Ancient Knowledge

One of Gutenberg’s main contributions to the Renaissance was giving scholars across Europe access to ancient knowledge.

During the medieval ages most ancient knowledge such as Cicero, Aristotle, and Plato was locked away in monastery vaults. While the monks would copy the ancient texts they often would not make it out of the confines of the monastery.

This presented a massive bottleneck on the production of knowledge across Europe. For almost 1,200 years most of the knowledge of the Greeks and Romans was locked away.

This all changed with Johannes Gutenberg’s contribution of the printing press to the Renaissance. Now printing shops around Europe could easily copy and distribute the ancient writings of the Romans and Greeks.

This is where the word Renaissance comes from, it means revival. In this case it was a revival of the study of ancient knowledge by artists and scholars across Europe.

Further, when each scholar or artist built upon previous studies they would publish their findings. As a result Europe became the center of knowledge in the world.

Both of these aspects, the study of ancient knowledge and the rapid advancement of knowledge, would not have been possible without the contributions of Johannes Gutenberg.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article on the 3 contributions of Johannes Gutenberg to the Renaissance.

Johannes Gutenberg would go on to live the rest of his life in Germany. He would spend his time as an inventor, printer, and engraver to make money. We know very little of his life as he left almost no details. Johannes Gutenberg remains a very influential figure for potential graduate students to study.

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Further, you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Until next time,

Nick