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So, though they remained unpublished, Newton's advances in mathematics scarcely remained a secret.
How much the political turmoil of these years affected Newton and his family is unclear, but the effect on Cambridge and other universities was substantial, if only through unshackling them for a period from the control of the Anglican Catholic Church.
He became a dominant figure in Britain almost immediately following publication of his in 1687, with the consequence that “Newtonianism” of one form or another had become firmly rooted there within the first decade of the eighteenth century.
His influence on the continent, however, was delayed by the strong opposition to his theory of gravity expressed by such leading figures as Christiaan Huygens and Leibniz, both of whom saw the theory as invoking an occult power of action at a distance in the absence of Newton's having proposed a contact mechanism by means of which forces of gravity could act.
As the promise of the theory of gravity became increasingly substantiated, starting in the late 1730s but especially during the 1740s and 1750s, Newton became an equally dominant figure on the continent, and “Newtonianism,” though perhaps in more guarded forms, flourished there as well.
What physics textbooks now refer to as “Newtonian mechanics” and “Newtonian science” consists mostly of results achieved on the continent between 17.