When the Cherokee were forcibly resettled in the territory of Oklahoma after the Trail of Tears, their nation faced a period of extreme turmoil. Major Ridge, his son, and other Cherokee signers of the Treaty of New Echota were blamed for the deaths of the 4,000 Cherokee that perished on the Trail of Tears. They were executed by their tribesmen under the Cherokee Blood Law. What followed was a wave of power struggles and violence within the nation. Nearly the entire leadership of the Cherokee was killed or deposed during the years that followed. In short, the Cherokee descended into a civil war that lasted nearly thirty years.
Furthermore, the Cherokee initially had trouble adjusting to life in Oklahoma. In Georgia they had been successful farmers. When they arrived in Oklahoma they did not have the infrastructure in place or the tools to immediately begin farming. As a result, they had to resort to hunting and gathering, a lifestyle they were not used to. Unfortunately, these methods could not provide enough food for the entire population, and many starved. Eventually, and with great difficulty, the Cherokee adjusted to life in the West. Their population ultimately rebounded, and today they are one of the largest Native American tribes in the country.