Life is a lot safer and more comfortable today than 300 years ago. Modernization is achieved by progress in science, technology, and method of production. Better infrastructure, public health, machinery and tools, quality of food, all contribute to the extension of life expectancy.
Before 1750 even the rich has a short and tough life. Most people have a short life and infant mortality is very high. People are very religious because death is a constant threat and plays an important role in their planning of life. Short and unpredictable life expectancy influenced people's attitude toward marriage, one of the most important institutions for the survival of the species. The political views were also conservative and societies were evolving very slowly.