The history of the Free Masonry is divided into two parts: before the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and after this event. The period prior to the establishment of the Grand Lodge is not well-known and not that extensively examined by the scientists. The origin of the Free Masonry after the beginning of the eighteenth century is more explained and fact-based in comparison with the first period that is described in legends.
Studies on the origins of the Free Masonry started to get new spin in the modern history when scientists looked at the Masonry from the perspective of its influence on the development and evolution of Europe and North America back in the eighteenth century. Major fact and one of the pit stops in the history is the establishment of the Constitution of the Free-Masons that was prepared and published by James Anderson in 1723. It was the first attempt to elaborate on the rules and fundamental aspects of the Free Masonry. Apart from its role as a guide and complete set of rules, this document provided the reader with some insight in the development and history of the Free Masonry and, consequently shed the light on the second development period.
On the later stage of the Masonry development, it started to get more and more involved in the political and social aspects of the French community. The Free Masonry was significantly influenced by the development of the Communism and Fascism. Both totalitarian regimes treated Masonry as a potential threat due to its secret nature and strong international background and connection.
One of the major reasons that made the Free Masonry an important element in the political and religious history is its international spread and influence on the religious tolerance through the concept of symbolism.