Journal Article

Strassburg, 1605: The Origins of the Newspaper in Europe

Johannes Weber

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 387-412
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI:
Strassburg, 1605: The Origins of the Newspaper in Europe

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English-language examinations of the history of the press often begin with the 1620s or the 1640s, when this new medium began to be more widespread in England. On the continent, however, around the year 1600 all the necessary technical, infrastructural and communication elements were already in place for the development of the modern newspaper. Book-printing techniques enabled the mass production of news reports; a regular relay post system, available to the general public, served the needs of a network of professional correspondents from around the world. The time was right for the first periodical news sheet, which appeared in Strassburg in 1605. The change from hand-copied to printed newspapers was of far-reaching significance, as the mass circulation of news gave regular publicity to the events and personalities of political life. By the 1620s a variety of newspapers were circulating in central Europe, and in the second half of the seventeenth century newspapers were the most widely read secular material. They provided a seedbed for the broadening political education which fostered the development of the Enlightenment.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

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