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Letterpress printing: Letterpress printing is a traditional technique invented by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440. It is using raised surfaces to transfer ink onto paper. It involves arranging metal or wooden type and images in a press, applying pressure to create an impression. See also Literature, Writing, Texts, Communication, Culture, Cultural tradition.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Daron Acemoglu on Letterpress Printing - Dictionary of Arguments

Acemoglu I 213
Letterpress printing/Acemoglu/Robinson: Not everyone saw printing as a desirable innovation. As early as 1485 the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II issued an edict that Muslims were expressly forbidden from printing in Arabic. This rule was further reinforced by Sultan Selim I in 1515. It was not until 1727 that the first printing press was allowed in the Ottoman lands. Then Sultan Ahmed III issued a decree granting İbrahim Müteferrika permission to set up a press.
Aceemolgu I 214
Until well into the second half of the nineteenth century, book production in the Ottoman Empire was still primarily undertaken by scribes hand-copying existing books. In the early eighteenth century, there were reputed to be eighty thousand such scribes active in Istanbul. This opposition to the printing press had the obvious consequences for literacy, education, and economic success. In 1800 probably only 2 to 3 percent of the citizens of the Ottoman Empire were literate, compared with 60 percent of adult males and 40 percent of adult females in England. In the Netherlands and Germany, literacy rates were even higher.
Acemoglu I 215
The Ottoman sultans and religious establishment feared the >creative destruction
that would result. Their solution was to forbid printing. >Institutions/Acemoglu, >Education/Acemoglu, >Technology/Acemoglu.

Literature: On the opposition to the printing press in the Ottoman Empire, see Savage-Smith (2003)(1) pp. 656–59. Comparative historical literacy comes from Easterlin (1981)(2).

1.Savage-Smith, Emily (2003). “Islam.” In Roy Porter, ed. The Cambridge History of Science. Volume 4: Eighteenth-Century Science. New York: Cambridge University Press.
2.Easterly, William (2006). The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. New York: Oxford University Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Acemoglu II
James A. Acemoglu
James A. Robinson
Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy Cambridge 2006

Acemoglu I
James A. Acemoglu
James A. Robinson
Why nations fail. The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty New York 2012

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