Pioneer  

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  1. One who goes before, as into the wilderness, preparing the way for others to follow.
  2. A person or other entity who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress.
  3. A soldier detailed or employed to form roads, dig trenches, and make bridges, as an army advances; a sapper.

"The old left–right economic divide largely separated Pioneers from Prospectors, with Settlers somewhere in the middle." --Whiteshift (2018) by Eric Kaufmann

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

American pioneers are any of the people in American history who migrated west to join in settling and developing new areas. The term especially refers to those who were going to settle any territory which had previously not been settled or developed by European, African or American society, although the territory was inhabited by or utilized by Native Americans.

The pioneer concept and ethos greatly predate the migration to parts of the United States now called Western, as many places now considered as East were also settled by pioneers from the coast. For example, Daniel Boone, a key figure in American history, settled in Kentucky, when that "Dark and Bloody Ground" was still undeveloped.

One important development in the Western settlement was the Homestead Act, which provided formal legislation for the settlers which regulated the settlement process.

Etymology

The word "pioneer" originates with the Middle French pionnier (originally, a foot soldier, or soldier involved in digging trenches), from the same root as peon or pawn. In the English language, the term independently evolved a sense of being an innovator or trailblazer. As early as 1664, Englishman John Evelyn used the term with a self-effacing "workman" meaning when he wrote in his treatise on planting, Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees: "I speak now in relation to the Royal Society, not my self, who am but a Servant of it only and a Pioneer in the Works".



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pioneer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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