As the term Classical Age is, therefore, too dignified for writers of the eighteenth century in England, who imitated only the outward trapping of the ancient classical writers, and could not get at their inner spirit, this age is preferably called the Augustan Age. This term was chosen by the writers of the eighteenth century, who saw in Pope, Addison, Swift, Johnson and Burke the modern parallels to Horace, Virgil, Cicero, and other brilliant writers who made Roman literature famous during the reign of Emperor Augustus.
The eighteenth century is also called the Age of Reason or the Age of Good Sense, because the people thought that they could stand on their own legs and be guided in the conduct of their affairs by the light of their own reason. If we want to apply reason, it has to be stable. Everything must to be structured in logic axioms.
The century has also been called the Age of Enlightenment. Many writers of the era used ancient Greek and Roman authors as models of style. Hence the period in literature is often described as neoclassic.
Merchants and tradesmen achieved tremendous economic power at this time. Scientific discoveries were encouraged. Many important inventions—for example, the spinning jenny, the power loom, and the steam engine—brought about an industrial society. Cities grew in size, and London began to assume its present position as a great industrial and commercial center. In addition to a comfortable life, the members of the middle class demanded a respectable, moralistic art that was controlled by common sense. They reacted in protest to the aristocratic immoralities in much of the Restoration literature.
London became more and more the centre of the literary and intellectual life of the country. Aristocracy in the old sense has been transmuted into gentility and wealth becomes the main motivating power in society. Wealth becomes the motor of society -> new social class that centres in commercialization. Economics and Ethics are finally separated.