Fundamental factors like the growing powers all the governments, a new thrust and desire for foreign goods- especially Asian goods, and a desire to spread the Christian religion drew the Europeans to the exploration, conquest and settlement of the New World.
The key players in exploration of the New World all became more powerful. The Portuguese set up trading posts along the coast of Africa which allowed money to flow through the country, giving them more power. The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile unified the kingdom of Spain, which increased its power. This increase in power made many countries and governments hungry for more power and would do anything to find it.
The only thing that stood between Europe and the East were the Muslims. Europeans had been searching for a cheaper and easier route to the East for quite some time but when Marco Polo came back from his almost twenty year journey to China, their desire to find this new route became even more intense. Marco Polo brought back with him tales of luxurious items like rose-tinted pearls and golden pagodas. they realized more than ever that they needed to find this new route to the East. They could travel around the Africa to get to India and China but that was risky and took a very long time. One of their routes was to travel out into the Atlantic Ocean and end up on the other side, to China. But the did not expect to hit a large land mass like the Americas. When they did, they found more goods that they now desired, like sugar, coffee silver, and gold. This led to the conquest of the New World because the Europeans wanted all the goods for themselves and they saw the native as inferior and easy targets to take over.
With England now becoming protestant thanks to the Protestant Reformation, this New World was an opportunity for Christians and Catholics to find a new place to practice their religion. The saw this New World as a place where they could practice their desired...