- There was a great turning away from religion as primary way of life.
- People had been caught up in religious schism and sometimes outright warfare from 1534, the year Henry VIII split away from the Catholic church, until the Glorious Revolution of 1589. England now turned its attention to politics and scientific/logical analysis & reason.
- belief had been based on authority; restoration brought the scientific method.
- scientific method - beliefs should be proven through repeated experiments. Until now, one was to trust the pronouncements of some authority. In religion, you accepted the dictates of the church; in science, you would turn to a recognized authority like Aristotle, Ptolemy, etc. Your own experience could mislead you. The Wife of Bath trusted experience over authority, but she was wrong to do so. In this era, she would be right.
Newton discovered the laws of gravity, motion, & created a new branch of mathematics - calculus.
- people wanted proof; did not want to accept an idea as true just because some person of authority said.
- British Constitution changed when Charles II took the throne; he realized (unlike his father who believed in Divine Right of Kings) that Parliament ruled
- parties and political factions became stable and more permanent
- Tories : King's party; conservative & Anglican
: represented $ from rising middle class; Puritans (Protestant Revolution
had economical effect)