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The history of the United States has been one of continual territorial expansion. This expansion has necessitated legislation and infrastructure to bring newly acquired territory into efficient, pro-ductive use. The Reclamation Act of 1902, passed during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the more important examples of the legislation necessary to bring the land of the western United States into productive agricultural use. This land had been settled, but offered insufficient fresh water resources for the agricultural activities settlers wished to practice. Water was drawn from rivers and streams for irrigation, but increasing demand led to calls for government action to create federallevel storage and irrigation projects to supplement and overhaul those local initiatives that had failed for lack of technical know ...

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