The invention of the printing press was an invention that had a dramatic effect on life during the middle ages. The printing press to most people was first started in Europe but actually the invention first occurred in Asia. Europeans followed the Asians without knowledge of what had been accomplished other than paper and Johan Gutenberg received credit for the invention.
There are a few reasons why the invention of the printing press occurred first in Asia and not in Europe. Asians had invented ink and paper well before Europeans, two things very necessary for printing. The Chinese began printing with movable type well over 500 years before any European. The Europeans only took the knowledge gained about paper from Asia, its thought that presses and inks were developed on there own free of influence. Almost 400 years after Pi Scheng developed hand movable type; Guttenberg did the same, and received credit for the invention that would help change history.
The difference in language and writing made printing techniques easier for Asians and more difficult for the Europeans. European languages were made up of small, individual characters, that when combine made a word. This made setting and printing a long, drawn out process. In China one character makes up an entire thought making setting and printing much quicker and much easier. The invention of the printing press made capable the reproduction of religious texts, and later as more and more of the population became literate, it was used as a tool of protest and propaganda.
The invention of the printing press was something that changed the world. It allowed writings to be mass produced and introduced to the public. It basically changed that face of society during the late middle ages in Europe, it's too bad that the Chinese aren't given the credit they deserve in respect to it invention.