Early modern Britain saw enormous economic, social, and political change, interrelated elements that were a product of the Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason. This period featured radically shifting ideals, particularly the diverging roles of the monarchy and the church. Philosophers, including John Locke and Pierre Bayle, provided reasoning in support of the separation of church and state.
Ideals associated with the Enlightenment also contributed to the conflict between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, resulting in the American Revolutionary War. The revolutionary movement focused on ideals including freedom of speech and press, equality, and religious tolerance.
The Age of Reason was influenced by ideas from the Scientific Revolution. Leaders of this revolution, including Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei, advocated for the application of rational thought to scientific inquiry. Modern science emerged from this revolution, in addition to the scientific method.
In terms of political thought, philosophers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced new ideas about egalitarianism and the social contract, the notion that laws are only binding if supported by the people. These ideas went on to influence democratic ideals that are still present today in the politics of the United Kingdom.
Further development of printing press technology in the eighteenth century spread the ideals of the Enlightenment. The establishment of public schools in eighteenth-century Britain increased the prevalence of literacy in the population, allowing revolutionary concepts to be recognized and understood on a larger scale.