Western assimilationist: Charles H. Burke and the Burke Act
A careful study of the Burke Act raises several questions: Is the Burke Act and its legacy an indication that Progressive Era politicians had abandoned nineteenth century assimilationism? Were Burke and his colleagues of a mind that, as one historian argues, the Indian, like his Afro-American, Puerto Rican, and Italian counterparts, could never become a completely assimilated, first-rate citizen of the United States? Was partial assimilation a more realistic alternative, one justifying the opening of reservations to white farmers and businessmen? Was guardianship, not citizenship, a more appropriate status for Indians? Was Indian policy transformed during the early 1900s?