Intellectual RevolutionIn the middle of the Reformation, a new outlook on the world began to take shape. Building off of the spirit of inquiry cultivated during the Renaissance, men like Galileo began to critically examine the world.This new, more rigorous set of standards had far reaching effects,eventually leading to changes politically.
This provides a good survey of what historians dub the Scientific Revolution. Unlike current revolutions, this one is not quick.
Wikipedia-Age of Enlightenment
This provides a good survey of the Age of Reason. The United States is a direct outcome of this movement.
Wikipedia-Catherine II of Russia
This provides a simple biography of Tsarina Catherine II.
This provides a simple biography of Newton.
This provides a simple biography of Locke. Life, Liberty, and Property!
This provides a simple biography of Hobbes. Are you "nasty, brutish, evil, and short?"