Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(786 words)

1. Measurement

Illiteracy is the partial or total inability to read and write. This inability was widespread at the beginning of the early modern period. Not until the 19th century was reduction of illiteracy an explicitly stated educational goal. Until the early 19th century, small rural and urban schools were dominated by religious instruction, and the educational reformers of the Enlightenment strove primarily to change students’ mind…

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Prass, Reiner, “Illiteracy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_016813>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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