Printing Press → Representation

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the medieval societies that emerged in Europe took writing to a new level by using handmade paper to document a comprehensive set of written codes of conduct (religious, charters, doctrinal, constitutional, judicial precedence, fables and otherwise) and for accounting and tax collection. But during the dark and middle ages it took some time for technology to catch up with the democratic prerequisites of informing, empowering and uniting the population. It was the invention of the printing press that was instrumental in bringing about the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the scientific method, universities, ownership of intellectual property, the Protestant Reformation; and the rise of democratic reforms across Europe and the Americas. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, for example, sold 600,000 copies in America (a country with a population of only 3 million) prior to the American Revolution. The ability to disseminate revolutionary ideas in printed form to a wide audience facilitated the growth of grassroots movements and transparency and got more and more people demanding to be openly represented by government.

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