Walter Isaacson, most recently the biographer of Steve Jobs, tells the story in The Innovators. Technologies such as moveable type, the steam engine, and the microprocessor remake the world because they radically reduce the cost of a fundamental input to the economy. Transforming the economy, they soon transform society and thus politics as well.
In 1450, there were about 50,000 books in all of Europe, almost all of them held in monasteries and universities under the control of the Church. And then moveable type made books cheap. By 1500, there were 10 million books in Europe, almost none of them under Church control—and the Church soon faced the Protestant Reformation.