Took the ideas of Renaissance and Reformation and put them together. The people were in turmoil, nobody was sure what to do with these new beliefs, or how to best use them.
The ideas at this time were not widely accepted because they challenged the foundations of a society that had been in place for hundreds of years. There were more people working to gain their own wealth, which was weakening the aristocracy. At this time prominent belief was human rationality, however, there was also beginning to be self-interest, economic freedom, and individual freedom.