In the early nineteenth century, the United States was growing quickly, and many people wanted to set up homes and farms in new areas. For centuries, American Indian nations-including the Cherokee-had been living on the land that white settlers wanted. The US government often stepped in to resolve conflicts between the groups with treaties. Many of these treaties called upon American Indians to give up some of their territory. The conflicts continued as more and more white settlers moved onto American Indian land. Finally, the US government passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This law ordered many American Indians to leave their homes. In 1838 military officials forced the Cherokee on a dangerous and heartbreaking journey from their homeland in the southeast region of the United States to territory 800 miles away in what is now the state of Oklahoma. Their journey became known as the Trail of Tears. Learn about the Cherokee Nation's forced removal from their ancestral homeland. Track the events and turning points that led to this dark and tragic time period in US history.