A brochure may seem like a small, printed pamphlet but custom printed brochures helped cause a religious cataclysm splitting two major religions forever, caused a king to lose his head, and helped 13 colonies galvanize their courage to gain their independence from the most powerful nation on Earth at that time. Read on and find out more!
1532: According to Britannica, the first pamphlets or brochures appeared soon after the invention of the printing press in Germany. While one of the first great accomplishments was the printing of the Holy Bible, printed custom brochures were printed soon after in 1517. In these brochures, the authors debated religious controversies between Roman Catholics and Protestants (those who protested Catholic theology). Martin Luther, the founder of the largest Protestant faith in Germany (the Lutheran Church) was a highly effective writer of brochures which clearly explained his suggested reforms for the Catholic Church.
Brochures were inexpensive to buy and sturdy enough to share with neighbors which spread the new theology quickly through Germany and England. In 1532, King Henry VIII of England left the Catholic Church to form his own Protestant denomination, the Church of England. This religious cataclysm resulted in deep divisions which we see even today in the Catholic-Protestant unrest in Northern Ireland. Brochures sharing new ideas changed this history of Christianity forever.
1649: Because of the political ideas debated in brochures in the years leading up to the English Civil Wars in the 1640’s, the tide of political opinion turned against King Charles I. After all, he married a Catholic princess against the will of his government, dissolved Parliament (like firing all the members of Congress and telling them he would rule by himself), and stated emphatically that he was entitled to the “divine right of kings.” Not the way to win over the people, Chuck! After his defeat, the king was executed for treason—the only English monarch to suffer this fate. Again, brochures changed political history—a king was executed in 1649 and the nation was ruled by an elected parliament because of changes in political thought.
1776: Brochures played a very important role in galvanizing the American colonies to fight for their independence from England. Thomas Paine published Common Sense in January 1776 which promoted independence. After a hard-fought war, American gained its independence in 1783, And the rest, as they say, is history!
As in the Protestant Reformation, the English Civil War, and the American Revolution, brochures were cheap to print and could easily be shared—which helped ideas to
spread like wildfire and change the world three times.