cause and effect

Cause and effect - Cherubin 1 History often presents us with different and unique problems and events that have occurred throughout the world and

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Cherubin 1 History often presents us with different and unique problems and events that have occurred throughout the world and time. But how different and unique are these problems and events? They may both be different and unique due to the fact that they address different topics such as famine or the Reformation. They may also both be different and unique in the sense that they are solved and discussed in different ways such as different farming techniques or the branching of the Christian religion. Yet at the same time are they not both one in the same? Rachel Carson writes of the problems that pesticides cause in our environment in her book Silent Spring . These problems are unique in that never before in history have we as humans had to deal with the prospect of unintentionally poisoning ourselves through the indiscriminate use of pesticides. The problems at the same time are not new to history in the sense that they create change. Every event or problem that we as humans have encountered throughout recorded history has produced change. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring portrays the cause and effect relationship that is prevalent throughout history with pesticides as the cause and the environmental movement as the effect. Using other examples such as the invention of the printing press and the atomic bomb and the advent of the Internet along with the introduction of pesticides into our world one can grasp the image of cause and effect that percolates throughout time. Before the mid-fifteenth century the spread of knowledge was extremely slow and usually reserved for those who lived quite comfortably and did not participate in labor. Having to be copied by hand, books were often in short supply and expensive. In the 1440’s Johannes Gutenberg introduced the mechanical printing press to the world. 1 The 1 Lynn Hunt, et al. , The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures-A Concise History (New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2007), 451.
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Cherubin 2 remarkable machine allowed for the rapid replication of numerous books in a relatively short period compared to the common practice of dictation to replicate a book. 2 This allowed for the rapid dispersal of knowledge. At first books spread through the upper echelon of society, due to the low literacy rate in the lower classes, but reading materials slowly found themselves in the hands of members of the lower class. The ability to mass-produce written works gradually made them readily available at a lower price to poorer citizens. 3 With an ever-increasing number of literate middle and lower class citizens in Europe, the clergy’s grip on literacy was slipping. 4 Mass production of the Bible gave citizens, who could read Latin of course, the power to read and interpret its texts however they choose. No longer being forced to simply listen to Bible passages and their priest’s interpretation of them many people began to have differing views about their religion. Not even a century after the introduction of the printing press were the seeds for religious
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HRS 200 taught by Professor Fryer during the Fall '07 term at Creighton.

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Cause and effect - Cherubin 1 History often presents us with different and unique problems and events that have occurred throughout the world and

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