Printing, Reformation and Information Control

  • Benedict Atkinson
  • Brian Fitzgerald


From the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, overlapping phenomena—humanism, the Italian Renaissance, the Black Death, the invention of the moveable-type printing press and the Protestant Reformation—began to upend the obligation-based system of property relations. When the plague swept through Europe in the middle of the fourteenth century, killing one-third of the population, it rattled every institution of the medieval world, setting many peasants free from feudal obligations. Traumatized survivors saw that high birth, social status or spiritual rank did not protect a person from the undiscriminating hand of death.


Sixteenth Century Copyright Holder Printing Press Literary Property Henry VIII 
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  1. Clark K (1972) Civilisation. BBC/John Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedict Atkinson
    • 1
  • Brian Fitzgerald
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of LawAustralian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of LawAustralian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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