Why do some historians think that print culture created the basis for the French Revolution?
Some historians think that print culture created the basis for the French Revolution because
(i) Print popularised the ideas of the enlightenment thinkers. The writings of Voltaire and Rousseau were read widely. Their writings provided a critical commentary on tradition, superstition and despotism, and they argued that everything be judged through the application of reason and rationality. As these writers attacked the despotic rulers and the authority of the church, the readers saw the world -
through new eyes that were questioning, critical and rational.
(ii) Print created a new culture of dialogue and debate in which all institutions, norms and values were discussed and re-evaluated.
(iii) By the 1780s, a lot of literature was published criticising and mocking the royalty. The underground circulation of such literature increased hostile sentiments against the monarchy.