Exploring and Colonizing the New World
The main reason that prompted Europeans to explore and colonize the New World was the desire to expand economic and political power. In particular, individual states, including Spain, England, and Portugal, strove for world domination, and their fleet allowed them to not only make long expeditions for trade but also explore unfamiliar lands. The new region in the west became a potentially lucrative territory for Europe, which could allow the colonists to obtain slave power and valuable resources to replenish the treasury. In addition, domination in the New World provided an opportunity for establishing a stable sea route and increasing territorial advantage. Therefore, this reason was the most obvious and objective and explained colonization to the west.
While discussing alternative factors that prompted Europeans to colonize the New World, one can mention the desire to convert the local indigenous population to Christianity. However, in the era of the discovery of America, church dogma ceased to dominate Europe. Martin Luther’s and his supporters’ work marked the beginning of the reform movement in the Old World, and the Christian religion was affected significantly. The church ceased to have an advantage over other social branches, and the previously existing set of canons was no longer perceived as the only true law to obey. Even though Christianity continued to occupy a significant place in public affairs, royal laws were a key method of dictating power. The colonization of the New World was also the initiative of the Spanish Crown, and the senior politicians provided key support to conquerors. Therefore, the statement about the dominant role of Christianity as the driver of exploring America is incorrect.