One of the earliest influences on the New Age was the Swedish 18th century Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg , who professed the ability to communicate with angels, demons, and spirits. Swedenborg's attempt to unite science and religion and his prediction of a coming era in particular have been cited as ways in which he prefigured the New Age.  Another early influence was the late 17th and early 18th century German physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer , who claimed the existence of a force known as " animal magnetism " running through the human body.  The establishment of Spiritualism , an occult religion influenced by both Swedenborgianism and Mesmerism, in the . during the 1840s has also been identified as a precursor to the New Age, in particular through its rejection of established Christianity, its claims to representing a scientific approach to religion, and its emphasis on channeling spirit entities. 
The Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries era was followed by that of a reaction, Romanticism, a turn back to the emotional instead of the rational, and a counter-Enlightenment. For a while, in the nineteenth century, it was common for the Enlightenment to be attacked as the liberal work of utopian fantasists, with critics pointing out there were plenty of good things about humanity not based on reason. Enlightenment thought was also attacked for not criticizing the emerging capitalist systems. There is now a growing trend to arguing that the results of the Enlightenment are still with us, in science, politics and increasingly in western views of religion, and that we are still in an Enlightenment, or heavily influenced post-Enlightenment, age. More on the effects of the Enlightenment. There has been a lean away from calling anything progress when it comes to history, but you'll find the Enlightenment easily attracts people willing to call it a great step forward.
A brutal, destructive conflict in Germany between 1618 and 1648 . The Thirty Years’ War began when Bohemian Protestants revolted out of a refusal to be ruled by a Catholic king. The battle would eventually spread throughout Germany and involve many other countries on both sides, resulting in the death of nearly a third of the German population and unfathomable destruction. Enlightenment thinkers such as John Comenius and Hugo Grotius reacted against the war with treatises about education, international relations, and the nature of war itself.