There were many events which led to the Age of Exploration. There was a lot of trade going on with Asia. The Europeans were looking to find a shorter travel route to Asia. Thus, they funded various explorations looking for this shorter route. When explorers traveled and then returned to Europe, they reported on a new land which wasn't Asia, yet one which offered lots of possibility. Europe was facing a land shortage as the population of Europe expanded. This new land could be a way to claim more land and then settle this new area. When explorers came back with gold and silver, this heightened the desire to explore, claim, and conquer. The European countries were competing with each other for power. If they could get more land and more minerals, this would enhance their chances of becoming stronger, and maybe becoming the most powerful country in the world. As a result, more expeditions were financed by the European leaders. While the Europeans never did find that shorter route to Asia, they found something even more valuable. Land, minerals, and power were too tantalizing for the Europeans to pass up.