Along with economics, religious freedom is always cited as an important reason colonists settled the New World.
Of course, the colonists (including the Spanish in the south and west and those in Plymouth colony to the north) used the Bible as a means of justifying conquering the natives and taking the land.
Psalms 2:8: "...Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession..."
Romans 13:2: "...Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the Ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to to themselves damnation..."
To me, there is no greater force in civilization than religion, whether for good or bad.
(view from within the church)