. Frederick, an American scholar, pointed out that the freedom of expression was recognized only after all suppression or control methods were ineffective; Discussing freedom as a final method is not based on sound reason, but because there is no choice. The author of
is a famous journalism scholar
. By the mid-19th century, Britain had been praised as the “holy land” of freedom of publication by Yanni, Mrs. Marx. But that was the result of hundreds of years of struggle between the British and the early autocratic monarchy and later various commandments after the introduction of the printing press. Among them, the Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries made outstanding contributions and made lamentable sacrifices.
in order to control the spread of “heresy” ideas, the British Catholic Church used all the means used by the Holy See, such as censorship, banning books, burning books and so on. The church was forced to turn to the throne because of its ineffective results. Henry VIII spared no effort in banning the publication of “heresy”. A bill passed by Congress in 1515 stipulates that no Latin and English books, ballads, songbooks and tragic works shall be printed and published unless they have been “read, discussed and examined by a designated wise and prudent person”. In 1526, Britain published the first catalogue of banned books. Three years later, the number of banned books increased from 18 to 85.
Henry also banned the publication, printing, import and sale of transcripts and printed books against the Catholic faith and the authority of the king in his royal decree of 1530. In 1534, Henry issued a king’s proclamation on defamatory books, stipulating that no one should print any English book without the consent of the Privy Council or the censor appointed by the king. Under such high pressure, the Bible translator William Tindale became an early martyr of religious and press freedom in Britain. He and his translation were burned down.
Henry ordered in his 1538 proclamation that the sale of books must be approved by the king; No books shall be imported without the examination of the examining officer; Each book must be printed with the names of the printer, author, translator and editor, otherwise it will be sentenced to imprisonment and confiscation of property. In this way, he is the only master left in the whole publishing industry.
in the struggle against censorship, Puritans gradually played an important role from the mid-16th century. John field and Thomas Wilcox, the authors of the anonymous pamphlet to Congress, insisted after their arrest in 1572 that “in the era of Parliament, there should be an era of freedom of speech and writing”. Hugh Singleton’s right hand was amputated on charges of seditious defamation for a Book found to be printed in 1579. The rebellious wolf still led the movement to abolish publishing privileges in prison. Since then, John straw, Robert waldgrave, John s and others secretly printed pamphlets in return for the Queen’s Refutation of the letter to Congress. John penry triggered the famous “marprilet debate”. Although all the printers were arrested and penry was hanged, it had a strong impact on the government controlled publishing industry.
Puritan John Stubbs published a pamphlet in 1579 against the 46 year old Elizabeth I’s intention to marry the Catholic Duke of Anjou, France. He argued that his aim was to safeguard freedom of thought and expression. Elizabeth was angry at public interference in state affairs. Stubbs, his printer and publisher were tried in Westminster and convicted of “inflammatory writing”. Stubbs was sentenced to amputation of his right hand. The loyal Stubbs raised his broken arm before fainting and shouted “God bless the Queen”. Elizabeth then abandoned her marriage plan. Peter Wentworth, a Puritan member of Congress, delivered a speech on the freedom of the house of Commons in 1576. Although he was convicted, he was the forerunner of John Milton’s publication on the freedom of the press after 1644.
entered the era of the Stuart dynasty. James I and Charles I changed the Huairou policy in the late Tudor Dynasty and tried to restore the absolute autocracy of the monarchy by means of book and newspaper censorship. When the relationship between the king and the parliament became increasingly tense, the king simply put aside the Parliament and issued orders directly, or suppressed all kinds of undesirable news and remarks through privileged institutions such as the Privy Council, the star court, the supreme religious Council and the bookseller’s Association. In 1611, James I said to the religious judge: “I give you three full powers… To investigate and search… All books, rumors and articles advocating the separation and defamation of the church, all books, pamphlets and portraits attacking the country… The producers, designers, printers, distributors, introducers, planners and instigators of all such books, confiscate and dispose of the above-mentioned books and their printing houses … so that it can no longer be used illegally. ”
due to the affairs of the European continent, especially the thirty year war, the British pay more attention to newspapers than political pamphlets. After the first batch of Dutch “corant” were imported into Britain in 1620, some booksellers also turned to profitable newspapers, which aroused the vigilance of the rulers. In 1621, James I, through his ambassador to the Netherlands, issued a proclamation banning the transportation of newspapers to Britain.
obviously, with the rise of newsprint, the effectiveness of the censorship system has declined in the early Stuart dynasty. Publishers have also made their own tricks against the authorities: some have printed false permission and name and address on the title page; Some books were published in the form of large single-sided newspapers and news ballads, because the authorities regarded these printed materials as insignificant publications before 1632; Some let the text of the book pass the examination first, and then insert the dedication and preface; Some have added new contents when reprinting the printed books that have passed the examination. In view of this, the star court only formulated the aforementioned publication order which can be called equal peak creation in 1637. An unlicensed printer must pass through both the Publishing Association and the government censor before printing a book.
and the Puritan intellectuals became more and more rebellious. Charles I frequently used the star court and seditious libel to punish “heretical” publishing activities. Scottish medical doctor and Puritan priest Leighton published a pamphlet “Christ” in the Netherlands in 1628The debate against bishops: an appeal to Congress. The star court charged him with “defamatory and malicious slander” and fined him 10000 pounds. The roof of the cell where he was imprisoned for 15 weeks without being attacked by the rain. He was sentenced by the high Religious Affairs Commission court to public flogging, tattooing SS (inflammatory speech disseminator) on his face and cutting off his ears, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was tied to a stake, 36 stripes were drawn on his back, and he was flail for two hours in the frost and snow of November. He was not released until the revolution broke out in 1640. The punishment and persecution of Leighton was one of the most shameful events in Charles I’s term of office. From
to 1636, the content of books and pamphlets published everywhere was more intense and the number was more than ever before. In June 1637, Puritans Henry Burton, John bastwick and William prin were arrested for writing a pamphlet attacking the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Lauder, and were whipped, flail and ear cut. When the three were taken to the scaffold, they were cheered by the crowd. Bastwick shouted, “if my blood can raise the Thames, I will sprinkle every drop of blood for it.” When they went to the prisons, the crowd scattered flowers and grass on the road. This case was one of the reasons why Congress abolished the star court in 1641 and executed William Lauder in 1645.
American scholar Frederick S. Siebert pointed out in this regard: the freedom of expression is recognized only after all suppression or control methods are difficult to work; Discussing freedom as a final method is not based on sound reason, but because there is no choice.