Europeans searched for an all-water route to India and Asia because the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople, closing off the trade routes to the Far East. A route around Africa's Cape of Good Hope was discovered by Vasco da Gama in 1498.
The Renaissance had seen the beginning of trade between Europe and the Far East. Since there were no inland water ways that connected directly to the Far East, traders had to travel by land through the Middle East. Following the elimination of these routes by the Turks, countries such as Spain, Portugal, England and France sent expeditions around Africa and further west in an effort to bypass this threat. These expeditions led to the accidentally discovery of the New World.