After the Treaty of New Echota was ratified by the Supreme Court, the Cherokee were given two years to migrate voluntarily to the west lands. But by 1838, only 2,000 had migrated, leaving 16,000 Cherokee remaining on their land. The U.S. government sent 7,000 of their elite troops to force the Cherokee people out of their homes. The tribe didn't have time to gather their belongings. They were left with an image of whites looting and destroying their homes. Thus began the march known as the Trail of Tears. 4,000 Cherokee people died during the march because of cold, hunger, and disease. The relocation of the Cherokee and other surrounding tribes left 25 million acres of land for white settlement and slavery.