THE administration of Theodore Roosevelt was in some respects the first modern presidency. It is with Roosevelt that the most distinctive twentieth-century characteristics of the executive office emerged as more or less permanent traits. Roosevelt put the presidency and the federal government at the center of peacetime political action. He made the White House a national focus for the social mood and did much to set the moral tone of his times. He exploited the president’s powers as commander in chief to initiate a forceful, independent foreign policy, deploying military forces abroad without direct (or any) consultation with Congress. And he extended presidential initiatives in policymaking to the domestic scene on an unprecedented scale, putting forward reform proposals for congressional action and using executive orders to promote major innovative programs.