When the Europeans had discovered America, the possibilities for them were endless. Although mistakenly discovered, it greatly aroused the curiosity of many European explorers. There were new opportunities for them to expand, and in more than just one way. Chances to spread religion, boost their economy, and help themselves politically.
As soon as Columbus returned, the pope issued a decree saying the world itself was an inheritance of Christianity. Spain and Portugal, the two main Christian powers at the time, set out to spread Christianity all across the world following the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. What better place to start then with the new found land of the Americas. As soon as the Europeans figured out a reason, they began their religious crusade. Spain argued that the Native Americans possessed souls that only Christian baptism could save.
Years later in 1520, an excommunicated monk named Martin Luther and his follows calling themselves Protestants, created a rift in Western Christianity and broke it into competing faiths. This movement was known as the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was able to spread oversees to the Americas, and led to many conflicts in the new world. Spain and France battled for religious dominance in Florida while England, which consisted of a Protestant monarchy, claimed Ireland. Eventually England too, would plan to occupy land in North America. Such feuds over religion would continue for centuries to come in the colonization of America.
The Political causes of the navigation and colonization was based on many different things. The knowledge gained from explorations gave many Europeans new ideas and brought many stories of diverse cultures to them. This, along with the new places and people to discover, changed the way Europeans viewed their own lives. They were intrigued by all these new things from America, and realized they really had just inherited the wisdom and authority in which they lived...