What were the most lasting accomplishments of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency?
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Overall, the lasting legacy of Roosevelt's administration was his definition of a new, more active role for the federal government, especially the executive, in carrying out policies deemed necessary for the good of the nation. Roosevelt famously described the presidency as a "bully pulpit," meaning that it afforded an opportunity for progressive, right-minded individuals to improve the nation through their actions. On the level of specific policy, Roosevelt's most enduring legacies were perhaps in two areas. The first was enacting a policy of conservation of natural resources. Under his presidency, the federal government set aside millions of acres of protected forests and closed many federal lands, which had been sold in the past to mining and railroad interests, to development or exploitation. The second was the establishment of consumer protection laws, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. These laws, while seemingly mundane, were in fact revolutionary in that they empowered the federal government to intervene directly in business matters for the welfare of the people. Many people might also argue that Roosevelt's foreign policy, which actively sought an increased role in world affairs, particularly in Central and South America, left a significant legacy as well.
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