The modern newspaper is a European invention. The oldest direct handwritten news sheets that circulated widely in Venice as early as 1566. These weekly news sheets were filled with information on wars and politics in Italy and Europe. The first printed newspapers were published weekly in Germany from 1609. Typically they were heavily censored by the government and reported only foreign news, and current prices. After the English government relaxed censorship in 1695, newspapers flourished in London and a few other cities including Boston and Philadelphia . By the 1830s high speed presses could print thousands of papers cheaply, allowing for low daily costs.