It may be viewed as an abbreviated circle progression:
"Along with motion toward the fifth (V), IV [the subdominant] appears as a corrective, depriving V (the dominant) of its independence and pointing it back in the direction of its origin [I]." In the key of C, IV provides the note F♮ and eliminates the possibility of G major, which requires F♯. The progression is also often used at the end of works and sections.
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