Amish

Amish

Overview
The Amish sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonites are a Christian church or constituency of Anabaptist heritage, that came into existence as a result of a division which took place in the Mennonite churches of Southern Germany, Eastern France and Switzerland in the late 17th century....

s
, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 churches. The Amish are known for simple living
Simple living
Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one's lifestyle. These may include reducing one's possessions or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than want...

, plain dress
Plain dress
Plain dress is a religious practice in which people dress in clothes of traditional modest design, sturdy fabric, and conservative cut. It is used to show humility and to preserve communal separateness from the rest of the world. It is practiced by some Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites,...

, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology
Modern conveniences
Modern conveniences or Mod cons are labor-saving devices that make a task easier to perform than a traditional method. Because of the historical use of the term, and the differences in lifestyles around the world, the term is a relative term based upon the conveniences previously available to a...

.

The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish. These followers were originally from three main places: the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 (now part of France), and the Palatinate of Germany.
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The Amish sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonites are a Christian church or constituency of Anabaptist heritage, that came into existence as a result of a division which took place in the Mennonite churches of Southern Germany, Eastern France and Switzerland in the late 17th century....

s
, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 churches. The Amish are known for simple living
Simple living
Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one's lifestyle. These may include reducing one's possessions or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than want...

, plain dress
Plain dress
Plain dress is a religious practice in which people dress in clothes of traditional modest design, sturdy fabric, and conservative cut. It is used to show humility and to preserve communal separateness from the rest of the world. It is practiced by some Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites,...

, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology
Modern conveniences
Modern conveniences or Mod cons are labor-saving devices that make a task easier to perform than a traditional method. Because of the historical use of the term, and the differences in lifestyles around the world, the term is a relative term based upon the conveniences previously available to a...

.

The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish. These followers were originally from three main places: the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 (now part of France), and the Palatinate of Germany. In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites immigrated to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German
Pennsylvania German language
The Pennsylvania German language is a variety of West Central German possibly spoken by more than 250,000 people in North America...

, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...

. However, a dialect of Swiss German
Swiss German
Swiss German is any of the Alemannic dialects spoken in Switzerland and in some Alpine communities in Northern Italy. Occasionally, the Alemannic dialects spoken in other countries are grouped together with Swiss German as well, especially the dialects of Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg...

 predominates in some Old Order Amish communities, especially in the American state of Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

. As of 2000, over 165,000 Old Order Amish live in the United States and approximately 1500 live in Canada. A 2008 study suggested their numbers have increased to 227,000, and in 2010 a new study suggested their population had grown by 10% in the past two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the West.

Amish church membership begins with baptism
Believer's baptism
Believer's baptism is the Christian practice of baptism as this is understood by many Protestant churches, particularly those that descend from the Anabaptist tradition...

, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. It is a requirement for marriage, and once a person has affiliated with the church, he or she may only marry within the faith. Church districts average between 20 and 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member's home. The district is led by a bishop and several ministers and deacons.

The rules of the church, the Ordnung
Ordnung
The Ordnung is a set of rules for Amish and Old Order Mennonite living. Ordnung is the German word for order, arrangement, organization, or system. Because the Amish have no central church government, each assembly is autonomous and is its own governing authority...

, must be observed by every member. These rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living, and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

. As Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s, Amish church members practice nonresistance
Nonresistance
Nonresistance is generally defined as "the practice or principle of not resisting authority, even when it is unjustly exercised". At its core is discouragement of, even opposition to, physical resistance to an enemy...

 and will not perform any type of military service. Members who do not conform to these expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

 are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

, a practice that limits social contacts to shame the wayward member into returning to the church. During adolescence rumspringa
Rumspringa
Rumspringa Pronounced A- generally refers to a period of adolescence for some members of the Amish, a subsect of the Anabaptist Christian movement, that begins around the...

("running around") in some communities, nonconforming behavior that would result in the shunning of an adult who had made the permanent commitment of baptism, may meet with a degree of forbearance.

Amish church groups seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world. There is generally a heavy emphasis on church and family relationships. They typically operate their own one-room school
One-room school
One-room schools were commonplace throughout rural portions of various countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In most rural and small town schools, all of the students met in a single room...

s and discontinue formal education at grade eight. They value rural life, manual labor and humility. Because of a smaller gene pool, some groups have increased incidences of certain inheritable conditions.

History



The Amish Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 movement descends from the 16th century and great fellowship known as the Swiss Brethren
Swiss Brethren
The Swiss Brethren are a branch of Anabaptism that started in Zürich, spread to nearby cities and towns, and then was exported to neighboring countries...

. The Swiss Brethren were Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s, and are often viewed as having been a part of a Radical Reformation
Radical Reformation
The Radical Reformation was a 16th century response to what was believed to be both the corruption in the Roman Catholic Church and the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland, the Radical Reformation birthed many radical...

. "Anabaptist" means "one who baptizes again"; a reference to those who had been baptized as infants, but later adopted a belief in "believer's baptism", and then let themselves again be baptized as adults. These Swiss Brethren trace their origination to Felix Manz
Felix Manz
Felix Manz was a co-founder of the original Swiss Brethren Anabaptist congregation in Zürich, Switzerland, and the first martyr of the Radical Reformation.-Birth and life:...

 (ca. 1498–1527) and Conrad Grebel
Conrad Grebel
Conrad Grebel , son of a prominent Swiss merchant and councilman, was a co-founder of the Swiss Brethren movement and is often called the "Father of Anabaptists".-Early life:...

 (ca. 1498–1526), who broke from reformer Huldrych Zwingli
Huldrych Zwingli
Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly centre of humanism...

.

The Amish movement takes its name from Jakob Ammann (ca. 1656–1730), a Swiss Mennonite leader. Ammann believed Mennonites, the peaceful Anabaptists of the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 and Germany, were drifting away from the teachings of Menno Simons
Menno Simons
Menno Simons was an Anabaptist religious leader from the Friesland region of the Low Countries. Simons was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers and his followers became known as Mennonites...

 and the 1632 Mennonite Dordrecht Confession of Faith
Dordrecht Confession of Faith
The Dordrecht Confession of Faith is a statement of religious beliefs adopted by Dutch Mennonite leaders at a meeting in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, on April 21, 1632...

. Ammann favored stronger church discipline, including a more rigid application of shunning
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

, the social exclusion of excommunicated members. Swiss Anabaptists, who were scattered by persecution throughout the Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 and the Palatinate, never practiced strict shunning as had some lowland Anabaptists. Ammann insisted upon this practice, even to the point of expecting spouses to refuse to eat with each other, until the banned spouse repented. This type of strict literalism, on this issue, as well as others, brought about a division among the Mennonites of Southern Germany, the Alsace and Switzerland in 1693, and led to withdrawal of those who sided with Ammann.

Swiss Anabaptism developed, from this point, in two parallel streams. Those following Ammann became known as Amish or Amish Mennonite. The others eventually formed the basis of the Swiss Mennonite Conference
Swiss Mennonite Conference
The Swiss Mennonite Conference is an Anabaptist Christian body in Switzerland....

. Because of this common heritage, Amish and Mennonites retain many similarities. Those who leave the Amish fold tend to join conservative Mennonite congregations.

Amish Mennonites began migrating to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 in the 18th century as part of a larger migration from the Palatinate and neighboring areas. This migration was a reaction to religious wars, poverty, and religious persecution
Religious persecution
Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or lack thereof....

 on the Continent. The first Amish immigrants went to Berks County, Pennsylvania
Berks County, Pennsylvania
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 373,638 people, 141,570 households, and 98,532 families residing in the county. The population density was 435 people per square mile . There were 150,222 housing units at an average density of 175 per square mile...

, but later moved, motivated by land issues and by security concerns tied to the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

. Many eventually settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County, known as the Garden Spot of America or Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a county located in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of 2010 the population was 519,445. Lancaster County forms the Lancaster Metropolitan Statistical Area, the...

. Other groups later settled in, or spread to Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, and Ontario, Canada.

The Amish congregations remaining in Europe slowly merged with the Mennonites. The last Amish congregation to merge with the Mennonites was the Ixheim Amish congregation, which merged with the neighboring Mennonite Church in 1937. Some Mennonite congregations, including most in the Alsace, are descended directly from former Amish congregations.

Most Amish communities that were established in North America did not ultimately retain their Amish identity. The original major split that resulted in the loss of identity occurred in the 1860s. During that decade Dienerversammlungen (ministerial conferences) were held in Wayne County, Ohio
Wayne County, Ohio
Wayne County is a county located in the state of Ohio, United States, and is named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. As of the 2010 census, the population was 114,520. Its county seat is Wooster....

, concerning how the Amish should deal with the pressures of modern society. The meetings themselves were a progressive idea; for bishops to assemble to discuss uniformity was an unprecedented notion in the Amish church. By the first several meetings, the more traditionally minded bishops agreed to boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

 the conferences. The more progressive members, comprising approximately two thirds of the group, retained the name Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonite
Amish Mennonites are a Christian church or constituency of Anabaptist heritage, that came into existence as a result of a division which took place in the Mennonite churches of Southern Germany, Eastern France and Switzerland in the late 17th century....

. Many of these eventually united with the Mennonite Church, and other Mennonite denominations, especially in the early 20th century. The more traditionally minded groups became known as the Old Order Amish.

Religious practices


Two key concepts for understanding Amish practices are their rejection of Hochmut (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and the high value they place on Demut (humility) and Gelassenheit (calmness, composure, placidity), often translated as "submission" or "letting-be". Gelassenheit is perhaps better understood as a reluctance to be forward, to be self-promoting, or to assert oneself. The Amish's willingness to submit to the "Will of Jesus", expressed through group norms, is at odds with the individualism so central to the wider American culture. The Amish anti-individualist orientation is the motive for rejecting labor-saving technologies that might make one less dependent on community. Modern innovations like electricity might spark a competition for status goods, or photographs might cultivate personal vanity.

Way of life


Amish lifestyle is dictated by the Ordnung (German, meaning: order), which differs slightly from community to community, and, within a community, from district to district. What is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. No summary of Amish lifestyle and culture can be totally adequate, because there are few generalities that are true for all Amish. Groups may separate over matters such as the width of a hat-brim, the color of buggies, or various other issues.

Having children, raising them, and socialization with neighbors and relatives are the greatest functions of the Amish family. All Amish believe large families are a blessing from God.

Population and distribution




Because members usually get baptized no earlier than 18 and children are not counted in local congregation numbers, it is difficult to put an exact figure on the number of Amish. Rough estimates from various studies have placed their numbers at 125,000 in 1992, 166,000 in 2000, and 221,000 in 2008, for a growth rate of nearly 4% per year. From 1992 to 2008, population growth among the Amish in North America was 84%. During that time they established 184 new settlements and moved into six new states. In 2000, approximately 165,620 Old Order Amish resided in the United States, of which 73,609 were church members. The Amish are among the fastest-growing populations in the world, with an average of 6.8 children per family.

There are Old Order communities in 27 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

; Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 has the largest population (55,000), followed by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 (51,000) and Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 (38,000). The largest Amish settlements are in Holmes County
Holmes County, Ohio
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,943 people, 11,337 households, and 9,194 families residing in the county. The population density was 92 people per square mile . There were 12,280 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile...

 in central Ohio, Lancaster County
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County, known as the Garden Spot of America or Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a county located in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of 2010 the population was 519,445. Lancaster County forms the Lancaster Metropolitan Statistical Area, the...

 in south-central Pennsylvania, and Elkhart
Elkhart County, Indiana
Elkhart County is a county in the U.S. state of Indiana. Much of the county is in the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn is part of the South Bend-Elkhart-Mishawaka Combined Statistical Area...

 and LaGrange
LaGrange County, Indiana
LaGrange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana and in the Northern Indiana region known as Michiana. As of 2010, the population was 37,128. The county is located about east of South Bend, west of Toledo, Ohio, and northeast of Indianapolis. The area is well known for its large...

 counties in northeast Indiana. The largest concentration of Amish west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 is in Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, with other settlements in eastern Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 and Southeast Minnesota
Southeast Minnesota
Southeast Minnesota is the corner of Minnesota south of the Twin Cities metropolitan area extending east, and part of the multi-state area known as the Driftless Area. Rochester is the largest city in the area; other major cities include Winona, Owatonna, Faribault, Northfield, Austin, and Red...

. In addition, there is a population of approximately 10,000 Old Order Amish in West Central Wisconsin. Because of rapid population growth in Amish communities, new settlements are formed to obtain sufficient farmland. Other reasons for new settlements include locating in isolated areas that support their lifestyle, moving to areas with cultures conducive to their way of life, maintaining proximity to family or other Amish groups, and sometimes to resolve church or leadership conflicts.

A small Beachy Amish congregation associated with Weavertown Amish Mennonite Church
Weavertown Amish Mennonite Church
Weavertown Amish Mennonite Church is a Beachy Amish Mennonite congregation located in the village of Weavertown, between the somewhat larger villages of Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States.-History:...

 exists in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.

Ethnicity


The Amish largely share a German or Swiss
Swiss (people)
The Swiss are citizens or natives of Switzerland. The demonym derives from the toponym of Schwyz and has been in widespread use to refer to the Old Swiss Confederacy since the 16th century....

-German
Ethnic German
Ethnic Germans historically also ), also collectively referred to as the German diaspora, refers to people who are of German ethnicity. Many are not born in Europe or in the modern-day state of Germany or hold German citizenship...

 ancestry. They generally use the term "Amish" only for members of their faith community, and not as an ethnic designation. Those who choose to affiliate with the church, or young children raised in Amish homes, but too young to yet be church members, are considered to be Amish. Certain Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 churches have a high number of people who were formerly from Amish congregations. Although more Amish immigrated to America in the 19th century than during the 18th century, most of today's Amish descend from 18th century immigrants. The latter tended to emphasize tradition to a greater extent, and were perhaps more likely to maintain a separate Amish identity.
There are a number of Amish Mennonite church groups that had never in their history been associated with the Old Order Amish. The former Western Ontario Mennonite Conference (WOMC) was made up almost entirely of former Amish Mennonites who reunited with the Mennonite Church in Canada. Orland Gingerich's book, The Amish of Canada, devotes the vast majority of its pages not to the Beachy or Old Order Amish, but to congregations in the former WOMC.

Health


Amish populations have higher incidences of particular genetic disorder
Genetic disorder
A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes, especially a condition that is present from before birth. Most genetic disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions....

s, including dwarfism
Dwarfism
Dwarfism is short stature resulting from a medical condition. It is sometimes defined as an adult height of less than 4 feet 10 inches  , although this definition is problematic because short stature in itself is not a disorder....

 (Ellis-van Creveld syndrome
Ellis-van Creveld syndrome
Ellis–van Creveld Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder of the skeletal dysplasia type.-Symptoms:...

), various metabolic disorders, and unusual distribution of blood types. Amish represent a collection of different demes
Deme (biology)
In biology, a deme is a term for a local population of organisms of one species that actively interbreed with one another and share a distinct gene pool...

 or genetically closed communities. Since almost all Amish descend from about 200 18th century founders, genetic disorders from inbreeding exist in more isolated districts (an example of the founder effect
Founder effect
In population genetics, the founder effect is the loss of genetic variation that occurs when a new population is established by a very small number of individuals from a larger population. It was first fully outlined by Ernst Mayr in 1942, using existing theoretical work by those such as Sewall...

). Some of these disorders are quite rare, or unique, and are serious enough to increase the mortality rate among Amish children. The majority of Amish accept these as "Gottes Wille" (God's will); they reject use of preventive genetic tests prior to marriage and genetic testing of unborn children to discover genetic disorders. However, Amish are willing to participate in studies of genetic diseases. Their extensive family histories are useful to researchers investigating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and macular degeneration
Macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults...

.

While the Amish are at an increased risk for a number of genetic disorders, researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) have found their tendencies for clean living can lead to a healthier life. Overall cancer rates in the Amish population are 60 percent of the age-adjusted rate for Ohio and 56 percent of the national rate. The incidence of tobacco-related cancers in the Amish adults is 37 percent of the rate for Ohio adults, and the incidence of non-tobacco-related cancer is 72 percent. The Amish have protection against many types of cancer both through their lifestyle—there is very little tobacco or alcohol use and limited sexual partners—and through genes that may reduce their susceptibility to cancer. Dr. Judith Westman, director of human genetics at OSUCCC-James, conducted the study. The findings were reported in a recent issue of the journal Cancer Causes & Control. Even skin cancer rates are lower for Amish, despite the fact many Amish make their living working outdoors where they are exposed to sunlight and UV rays. They are typically covered and dressed to work in the sun by wearing wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves to protect their skin.

The Amish are conscious of the advantages of exogamy
Exogamy
Exogamy is a social arrangement where marriage is allowed only outside of a social group. The social groups define the scope and extent of exogamy, and the rules and enforcement mechanisms that ensure its continuity. In social studies, exogamy is viewed as a combination of two related aspects:...

. A common bloodline in one community will often be absent in another, and genetic disorders can be avoided by choosing spouses from unrelated communities. For example, the founding families of the Lancaster County Amish are unrelated to the founders of the Perth County, Ontario
Perth County, Ontario
Perth County is a census division of the Canadian province of Ontario. The county seat is Stratford and is located in Southwestern Ontario, west of Toronto. It encompasses , 90% of which is classified as prime agricultural land...

 Amish community.

The Old Order Amish do not typically carry private commercial health insurance. About two-thirds of the Amish in Lancaster County participate in Church Aid, an informal self-insurance plan for helping members with catastrophic medical expenses. A handful of American hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s, starting in the mid-1990s, created special outreach programs to assist the Amish. The first of these programs was instituted at the Susquehanna Health System in central Pennsylvania by James Huebert. This program has earned national media attention in the United States, and has spread to several surrounding hospitals. Treating genetic problems is the mission of Clinic for Special Children
Clinic for Special Children
The Clinic for Special Children is a gene research clinic located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. The facility, established by Dr. D. Holmes Morton, specializes in genetic problems of the plain sects such as the Amish and Old Order Mennonites....

 in Strasburg, Pennsylvania
Strasburg, Pennsylvania
Strasburg is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. It developed as a linear village along the Great Conestoga Road, stretching about two miles along path later known as the Strasburg Road...

, which has developed effective treatments for such problems as maple syrup urine disease
Maple syrup urine disease
Maple syrup urine disease , also called branched-chain ketoaciduria, is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder affecting branched-chain amino acids. It is one type of organic acidemia...

, a previously fatal disease. The clinic is embraced by most Amish, ending the need for parents to leave the community to receive proper care for their children, an action that might result in shunning.

DDC Clinic for Special Needs Children, located in Middlefield, Ohio
Middlefield, Ohio
Middlefield is a village in Geauga County, Ohio, United States. The population was 2,233 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Middlefield is located at ....

, has been treating special-needs children with inherited or metabolic disorders since May 2002. The DDC Clinic provides treatment, research, and educational services to Amish and non-Amish children and their families.

Although not forbidden or thought of as immoral, most Amish do not practice any form of birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

, hence their large families. They are against abortion and also find "artificial insemination, genetics, eugenics, and stem cell research" to be "inconsistent with Amish values and beliefs".

People's Helpers is an Amish-organized network of mental health caregivers who help families dealing with mental illness and recommend professional counselors. Suicide rates for the Amish of Lancaster County were 5.5 per 100,000 in 1980, about half that of the general population and a third the rate of the non-religious population.

Amish life in the modern world


As time has passed, the Amish have felt pressures from the modern world. Issues such as taxation, education, law and its enforcement, and occasional discrimination and hostility, are areas of difficulty.

The Amish way of life in general has increasingly diverged from that of modern society. On occasion, this has resulted in sporadic discrimination and hostility from their neighbors, such as throwing of stones or other objects at Amish horse-drawn carriages on the roads.

The Amish do not usually educate their children past the eighth grade
Eighth grade
Eighth grade is a year of education in the United States, Canada, Australia and other nations. Students are usually 13 - 14 years old. The eighth grade is typically the final grade before high school, and the ninth grade of public and private education, following kindergarten and subsequent grades...

, believing that the basic knowledge offered up to that point is sufficient to prepare one for the Amish lifestyle. Almost no Amish go to high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

, much less to college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

. In many communities, the Amish operate their own schools, which are typically one-room schoolhouses with teachers (young unmarried women) from the Amish community. On May 19, 1972, Jonas Yoder and Wallace Miller of the Old Order Amish, and Adin Yutzy of the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church, were each fined $5 for refusing to send their children, aged 14 and 15, to high school. In Wisconsin v. Yoder
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 , is the case in which the United States Supreme Court found that Amish children could not be placed under compulsory education past 8th grade, as it violated their parents' fundamental right to freedom of religion....

, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this, finding the benefits of universal education do not justify a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

.

Like other citizens, Amish pay sales and property taxes. However, Amish buggies, bicyclists, and pedestrians use public highways, but need not pay either motor vehicle registration fees or motor fuel taxes (taxes which are typically used to finance public roads). Additionally, the United States Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 agreed in 1961 that they did not need to pay Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 related taxes. This was because, under their beliefs and traditions, they do not accept social security benefits and have a religious objection to insurance. U.S. Supreme Court maintained the law exempted the self-employed Amish, like other self-employed individuals, from mandatory social security insurance payments in 1982. At times it has been believed – mistakenly – that Amish pay no taxes at all.

Subgroups of Amish



Over the years, the Amish churches have divided many times over doctrinal disputes. The "Old Order" Amish, a conservative faction that withdrew from fellowship with the wider body of Amish in the 1860s, are those that have most emphasized traditional practices and beliefs. There are as many as eight different subgroups of Amish with most belonging, in ascending order of conservatism, to the Beachy Amish, New Order, Old Order, or Swartzentruber Amish sects.

Similar groups


Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonites is a branch of the Mennonite church. Although the term strictly refers to one particular group, it is often used to refer to those groups of Mennonites who practice a lifestyle without some elements of modern technology.-Overview:...

s, Hutterite
Hutterite
Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Since the death of their founder Jakob Hutter in 1536, the beliefs of the Hutterites, especially living in a community of goods and absolute...

s, and Old German Baptist Brethren
Old German Baptist Brethren
Old German Baptist Brethren descend from a pietist movement in Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708, when Alexander Mack founded a fellowship with seven other believers. They are one of several Brethren groups that trace themselves to that original founding body...

 are distinct from the Amish. They all emigrated from Europe, but they arrived with different dialects, separate cultures, and diverse religious traditions. Particularly, the Hutterites live communally and are generally accepting of modern technology.

Plain Quakers
Testimony of Simplicity
Testimony of Simplicity is a shorthand description of the actions generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends to testify or bear witness to their beliefs that a person ought to live his or her life simply in order to focus on what is most important and ignore or play down what...

 are similar in manner and lifestyle, but unrelated to the Amish. Early Quakers were influenced, to some degree, by the Anabaptists. Most modern Quakers have since abandoned their traditional dress.

Topical


Peter Weir
Peter Weir
Peter Lindsay Weir, AM is an Australian film director. After playing a leading role in the Australian New Wave cinema with his films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave and Gallipoli, Weir directed a diverse group of American and international films—many of them major box office...

's 1985 drama Witness
Witness (1985 film)
Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W...

is set and filmed in the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Harvest of Fire
Harvest of Fire
Harvest of Fire is an American television movie that aired on CBS on April 21, 1996. Directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman, the film stars stars Lolita Davidovich, J.A...

is a 1996 Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame is an anthology program on American television, sponsored by Hallmark Cards, a Kansas City based greeting card company. The second longest-running television program in the history of television, it has a historically long run, beginning in 1951 and continuing into 2011...

 made-for-TV movie about an FBI agent's investigation of cases of suspected arson in an Amish farming community. The 2002 documentary Devil's Playground follows a group of Amish teenagers during rumspringa
Rumspringa
Rumspringa Pronounced A- generally refers to a period of adolescence for some members of the Amish, a subsect of the Anabaptist Christian movement, that begins around the...

, and it portrays their personal dilemma with both the "English" world and the decision on whether or not to be baptized as adult members of the church.

In Kingpin
Kingpin (film)
Kingpin is a 1996 slapstick comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, and Bill Murray...

, a former bowling champion coaches a young Amish man in winning a bowling tournament to win enough money to save his family's farm.

Michael Landon Jr's 2007 film Saving Sarah Cain
Saving Sarah Cain
Saving Sarah Cain is a 2007 film based on Beverly Lewis' 2000 novel The Redemption of Sarah Cain. The film premiered August 19, 2007 on Lifetime Television. The film is distributed by Believe Pictures and stars Lisa Pepper, Elliott Gould, Tess Harper, Soren Fulton, Danielle Chuchran, Abigail Mason,...

shows the removal of young Amish children to the big city and realizing the life they can have with both the Amish and English world. Producer Larry Thompson's 2010 Lifetime Original Movie "Amish Grace
Amish Grace
Amish Grace is a television film that premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2010. The movie is based on the 2006 Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Amish school shooting and the spirit of forgiveness the Amish community demonstrated in its aftermath...

" portrayed the events surrounding an Amish school shooting in Nickel Mines, PA.

Episodical


In the comedy Sex Drive
Sex Drive (film)
Sex Drive is a 2008 sex comedy film about a high school graduate who goes on a cross-country road trip to hook up with a girl he met online. It is based on the novel All the Way, by Andy Behrens. The film was directed by Sean Anders, and stars Josh Zuckerman, Clark Duke, Amanda Crew, and Katrina...

, the three main characters hitchhike with an Amish man, played by Seth Green
Seth Green
Seth Benjamin Green is an American actor, comedian, voice actor, and television producer. He is well known for his role as Daniel "Oz" Osbourne in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as Dr. Evil's son Scott in the Austin Powers series of comedy films, Mitch Miller in That '70s Show, and the voice of Chris...

 who takes them to his home. There they find a party during Rumspringa, where the character Lance meets his future love interest in the film. In the George Romero film Diary of the Dead, a deaf Amish man appears and helps the main survivors before killing himself after being infected.

For Richer or Poorer
For Richer or Poorer
For Richer or Poorer is a 1997 comedy film starring Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley. It is rated PG-13 for some sexual innuendo and one use of strong language.-Plot :...

is a 1997 comedy film starring Tim Allen
Tim Allen
Tim Allen is an American comedian, actor, voice-over artist, and entertainer, known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement...

 and Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Louise Alley is an American actress known for her role in the TV show Cheers, in which she played Rebecca Howe from 1987–1993, winning an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1991...

 who find themselves hiding in a small Amish community in Pennsylvania.

Modern novels


Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson is an American author and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York City. Levinson's novels, short fiction, and non-fiction works have been translated into twelve languages....

's 1999 Locus Award
Locus Award
The Locus Award is a literary award established in 1971 and presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll. Currently, the Locus Awards are presented at an annual banquet...

-winning novel, The Silk Code portrays Amish farmers involved in a science-fiction mystery about biotechnology and mysterious deaths. Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult
Jodi Lynn Picoult is an American author. She was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for fiction in 2003. Picoult currently has some 14 million copies of her books in print worldwide.-Early life and education:...

's 2000 novel (and 2004 TV movie) Plain Truth
Plain Truth
Plain Truth is a novel written by Jodi Picoult about a murder on an Amish farm, first published in 2001.-Plot summary:The book tells the story of how a dead infant found on an Amish farm shakes the entire community. As the police investigate the death, they discover that the baby was not stillborn,...

,
deals with a crime concerning the death of a newborn infant on an Amish farm. Other novels dealing with the Amish are Lurlene McDaniel
Lurlene McDaniel
Lurlene McDaniel is an author who has written more than 70 young adult books. She is well-known for writing about young adults struggling with mortality and chronic illness, a career that began as a therapeutic way to deal with the trauma when her son, then 3, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes...

's 2002 The Angels Trilogy, Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis is a Christian fiction novelist and children's author of over 70 books.She was born Beverly Marie Jones, and is a former schoolteacher and musician. She started playing the piano at age 5, and began writing short stories and poetry when she was 9 years old.Much of her writing focuses...

's extensive series of Amish romantic fiction, Paul Gaus's Ohio Amish Mystery series, set among the Amish community in Holmes County, Ohio, and Richard Montanari
Richard Montanari
Richard Montanari is an American crime writer who debuted with his novel Deviant Way, published by Simon & Schuster, in 1995. It won the Online Mystery Award for Best First Mystery...

's Philadelphia crime series features a homicide detective named Joshua Bontrager who grew up Amish.

Older novels


Helen Reimensnyder Martin
Helen Reimensnyder Martin
Helen Reimensnyder Martin was an American author. She was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, studied at Swarthmore and at Radcliffe colleges; and married Frederic C. Martin in 1889...

's 1905 novel Sabina, a Story of the Amish, similar to her 1904 novel Tillie, a Mennonite Maid, so harshly depicted its subjects as to provoke cries of misrepresentation. Anna Balmer Myers
Anna Balmer Myers
Anna Balmer Myers was an American author of romantic novels featuring the local color of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.She was born in Lancaster County in Manheim, Pennsylvania and attended school there. She later attended Drexel University and lived and worked as a schoolteacher in Philadelphia,...

' 1920 novel Patchwork: a Story of "the Plain People," like her 1921 novel Amanda: A Daughter of the Mennonites, are generally regarded as gentle correctives to the work of Martin. Ruth Lininger Dobson's 1937 novel Straw in the Wind, written while a student at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

 and receiving the school's Hopwood Award
Hopwood Award
The Hopwood Awards are a major scholarship program at the University of Michigan, founded by Avery Hopwood.Under the terms of the will of Avery Hopwood, a prominent American dramatist and member of the Class of 1905 of The University of Michigan, one-fifth of Mr. Hopwood's estate was given to the...

, so negatively depicted the Amish of Indiana that Joseph Yoder
Joseph Yoder
Joseph Yoder was an educator, musicologist, and writer, the first successful Mennonite literary figure in the United States, especially known for his semi-fictional account of his mother's life, Rosanna of the Amish , and for his investigation of the sources of the Amish tunes of the Ausbund,...

 was motivated to correct the severe stereotypes with a more accurate book about the Amish way of life. In 1940, he wrote the gentler Rosanna of the Amish, a story of his mother's life (and his own). He later wrote a sequel, Rosanna's Boys (1948), as well as other books presenting and recording what he regarded as a truer picture of Amish culture.

Children's literature


Marguerite de Angeli
Marguerite de Angeli
Marguerite de Angeli was a bestselling author and illustrator of children's books including the 1950 Newbery Award winning book The Door in the Wall...

's 1936 children's story Henner's Lydia
Henner's Lydia
Henner's Lydia is a 1936 children's story book written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli, winner of the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature for another book, her 1950 The Door in the Wall. Henner's Lydia is a story about a young Amish girl named Lydia Stoltzfus and...

portrays a tender Amish family. The author sketched many of the illustrations at the site of the Little Red Schoolhouse still standing at the intersection of PA route 23 and Red Schoolhouse Road, just west of Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Today the building is the Amish Mennonite Information Center. The Lancaster County landscape, portrayed in the end papers of the book, can be recognized throughout the area. De Angeli's illustrations of a nearby bank barn were sketched just hours before the barn was destroyed by fire. She incorporated the incident in her 1944 Caldecott Honor
Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children , a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published that year. The award was named in honor of nineteenth-century English...

 book Yonie Wondernose, a story about a curious Amish boy, younger brother to the Lydia of Henner's Lydia. Another popular children's book, Plain Girl by Virginia Sorensen, was published in 1956, and is still in print.

Theatre


The 1955 Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 musical show, Plain and Fancy
Plain and Fancy
Plain and Fancy is a musical comedy with a book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman, lyrics by Arnold Horwitt, and music by Albert Hague. One of the first depictions of an Amish community in American pop culture, it includes a traditional barn-raising and an old-fashioned country...

,
is an early stage-play portrayal of the Amish people. Set in Lancaster County, it tells of a couple from New York who encounter the quaint Amish lifestyle when they arrive to sell off some property. This show depicted "shunning" and "barn-raising" to the American audience for the first time. Another play featuring the Amish is Quiet in the Land, a Canadian play concerning Amish struggles during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (1917–1918).

Television


NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 aired, in 1988, a family drama called Aaron's Way
Aaron's Way
Aaron's Way is a 1988 American family drama series that aired on NBC. The series starred Merlin Olsen as Aaron Miller, the husband and father of an Amish family that moves to California. The series followed the attempts of family members to adapt to California culture while retaining their...

about an Amish family who moved to California and had to adjust to a non-Amish lifestyle. Numerous other TV shows have presented episodes with Amish characters or storylines. Some of them include Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

, Tales of the Gold Monkey
Tales of the Gold Monkey
Tales of the Gold Monkey is a 1982 television show broadcast by ABC. Most critics saw it as the network's attempt to capitalize on the fame of the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark the previous year, in the same vein as Bring 'Em Back Alive on CBS...

, Arthur
Arthur (TV series)
Arthur is an American/Canadian animated educational television series for children, created by Cookie Jar Group and WGBH for the Public Broadcasting Service...

, The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, Futurama
Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

, Dexter's Laboratory
Dexter's Laboratory
Dexter's Laboratory is an American animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky and produced by Cartoon Network Studios . The show is about a boy named Dexter who has an enormous secret laboratory filled with an endless collection of his inventions...

, Picket Fences
Picket Fences
Picket Fences is a 60-minute American television drama about the residents of the fictional town of Rome, Wisconsin, created and produced by David E. Kelley. The show initially ran from September 18, 1992, to June 26, 1996, on the CBS television network in the United States...

, Murder She Wrote, MacGyver
MacGyver
MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the United States and various other networks abroad from 1985 to 1992. The series was filmed in Los Angeles...

, Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Guiding Light is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009...

, Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series created by Shonda Rhimes. The series premiered on March 27, 2005 on ABC; since then, seven seasons have aired. The series follows the lives of interns, residents and their mentors in the fictional Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital in...

, Bones
Bones (TV series)
Bones is an American crime drama television series that premiered on the Fox Network on September 13, 2005. The show is based on forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology, with each episode focusing on an FBI case file concerning the mystery behind human remains brought by FBI Special Agent...

, My Name Is Earl
My Name Is Earl
My Name Is Earl is an American television comedy series created by Greg Garcia that was originally broadcast on the NBC television network from September 20, 2005, to May 14, 2009, in the United States...

, Glenn Martin, DDS
Glenn Martin, DDS
Glenn Martin, DDS is an American stop-motion-animated television series that premiered on Nick at Nite on August 17, 2009. The series is produced by Tornante Animation in association with Cuppa Coffee Studio...

and Cold Case. In the summer of 2004, a controversial reality-television program called Amish in the City
Amish in the City
Amish in the City is an American reality television series by Stick Figure Productions and UPN...

aired on UPN
UPN
United Paramount Network was a television network that was broadcast in over 200 markets in the United States from 1995 to 2006. UPN was originally owned by Viacom/Paramount and Chris-Craft Industries, the former of which, through the Paramount Television Group, produced most of the network's...

. Amish teenagers were exposed to non-Amish culture by living together with "English" teens and, at the time of the show, had yet to decide if they wanted to be baptized into the Amish church. On Wednesday 18 February 2009, BBC2 aired "Trouble in Amish Paradise", a one-hour documentary on Ephraim and Jesse Stoltzfus and their desire to adhere to Biblical Christianity whilst remaining Amish in culture.
In July 2010 Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 aired a documentary titled Amish: World's Squarest Teenagers following five Amish teenagers from America being introduced to life in the UK. In November 2011, Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 aired a new documentary titled, Living With The Amish. It follows 5 teenagers from the UK, travelling around America, living with 5 different Amish families.

Music


"Weird Al" Yankovic
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, accordionist, actor, comedian, writer, satirist, and parodist. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts...

's 1996 parody "Amish Paradise
Amish Paradise
"Amish Paradise" is a 1996 single by parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is a parody of the hip hop song "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V....

" and the accompanying music video was an affectionate send-up of Coolio
Coolio
Artis Leon Ivey Jr. , better known by the stage name Coolio, is an American musician, rapper, actor and record producer.-Late 80s:He recorded two singles in the late 80s, titled "Watcha Gonna Do" and "You're Gonna Miss Me"...

's earlier soul song "Gangsta's Paradise
Gangsta's Paradise (song)
"Gangsta's Paradise" is a rap song by Coolio featuring L.V.. The song was released on the Coolio album Gangsta's Paradise, as well as the Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995. Coolio was awarded a Grammy for the song/album...

", with Yankovic and former The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch is an American sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz and starring Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, and Ann B. Davis. The series revolved around a large blended family...

actress Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson
Florence Agnes Henderson is an American actress and singer. She is perhaps best known for her role of Carol Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974...

 in Amish garb, and lyrics reflecting Amish themes.

See also


  • Amish furniture
    Amish furniture
    Amish furniture is furniture marketed as being made by the Amish, primarily of Ohio and Shipshewana, Indiana. It is generally known as being made of 100% wood, usually without particle board or laminate.- History :...

  • Amish music
    Amish music
    Amish music is primarily German in origin, and includes ancient singing styles not found anywhere in Europe, as well as modern hymns derived from the Pennsylvania German culture....

  • Amish school shooting
    Amish school shooting
    The Amish school shooting was a shooting at the West Nickel Mines School, an Amish one-room schoolhouse in the Old Order Amish community of Nickel Mines, a village in Bart Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 2006...

  • Christian views on poverty and wealth
    Christian views on poverty and wealth
    Since the inception of Christianity, there have been a variety of Christian attitudes towards materialism and wealth. John Cobb, Jr. argues that the "economism that rules the West and through it much of the East" is directly opposed to traditional Christian doctrine. Cobb invokes the teaching of...

  • Fancy Dutch
    Fancy Dutch
    The term Fancy Dutch or Gay Dutch refers to the Pennsylvania Germans who do not belong to the Anabaptist churches. They, unlike the Amish, Dunkards and the Mennonites, who were considered sectarians, did not wear plain clothing, nor did they refuse to fight in wars...

  • Martyrs Mirror
    Martyrs Mirror
    The Martyrs Mirror or The Bloody Theater, first published in 1660 in Dutch by Thieleman J. van Braght, documents the stories and testimonies of Christian martyrs, especially Anabaptists...

  • Northkill Amish Settlement
    Northkill Amish Settlement
    The Northkill Amish Settlement was established in 1740 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. As the first identifiable Amish community in the new world, it was the foundation of Amish settlement in the Americas.-Settlement:...

  • Ordnung
    Ordnung
    The Ordnung is a set of rules for Amish and Old Order Mennonite living. Ordnung is the German word for order, arrangement, organization, or system. Because the Amish have no central church government, each assembly is autonomous and is its own governing authority...

  • Plain people
    Plain people
    Plain people are Christian groups characterized by separation from the world and simple living, including plain dress. These group include Amish; Old Order, Conservative and Old Colony Mennonites; Old German Baptist Brethren; the Hutterites; and Old Order River Brethren; and at one time Quakers,...

  • Simple living
    Simple living
    Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one's lifestyle. These may include reducing one's possessions or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than want...


Further reading


  • Die Botschaft (Lancaster, PA 17608-0807; 717-392-1321). Magazine for Old Order Amish published by non-Amish; only Amish may place advertisements.
  • The Budget (P.O. Box 249, Sugarcreek, OH 44681; 330-852-4634). Weekly newspaper by and for Amish. Online information: http://www.thebudgetnewspaper.com/
  • The Diary (P.O. Box 98, Gordonville, PA 17529). Monthly newsmagazine by and for Old Order Amish.
  • Beachy, Leroy. Unser Leit ... The Story of the Amish. Millersburg, OH: Goodly Heritage Books, 2011. 996 pp.
  • DeWalt, Mark W. Amish Education in the United States and Canada. Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2006. 224 pp.
  • Garret, Ottie A and Ruth Irene Garret. True Stories of the X-Amish: Banned, Excommunicated and Shunned, Horse Cave, KY: Neu Leben, 1998.
  • Garret, Ruth Irene. Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life, Thomas More, 1998.
  • Good, Merle and Phyllis. 20 Most Asked Questions about the Amish and Mennonites. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1979.
  • Hostetler, John A. ed. Amish Roots: A Treasury of History, Wisdom, and Lore. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 319 pp.
  • Igou, Brad. The Amish in Their Own Words: Amish Writings from 25 Years of Family Life, Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1999. 400 pp.
  • Johnson-Weiner, Karen M. Train Up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 304 pp.
  • Keim, Albert. Compulsory Education and the Amish: The Right Not to be Modern. Beacon Press, 1976. 211 pp.
  • Kraybill, Donald B. The Amish of Lancaster County. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2008.
  • Kraybill, Donald B. ed. The Amish and the State. Foreword by Martin E. Marty. 2nd ed.: Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. 351 pp.
  • Kraybill, Donald B. and Marc A. Olshan, ed. The Amish Struggle with Modernity. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994. 304 pp.
  • Kraybill, Donald B. and Carl D. Bowman. On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. 330pp.
  • Kraybill, Donald B. and Steven M. Nolt. Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. 286 pp.
  • Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2006. 256 pp.
  • Luthy, David. Amish Settlements That Failed, 1840–1960. LaGrange, IN: Pathway Publishers, 1991. 555pp.
  • Nolt, Steven M. A history of the Amish. Rev. and updated ed.: Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 2003. 379 pp.
  • Nolt, Steven M. and Thomas J. Myers. Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. 256 pp.
  • Schachtman, Tom. Rumspringa: To be or not to be Amish. New York: North Point Press, 2006. 286 pp.
  • Schlabach, Theron F. Peace, Faith, Nation: Mennonites and Amish in Nineteenth-Century America. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1988. 415 pp.
  • Schmidt, Kimberly D., Diane Zimmerman Umble, and Steven D. Reschly, eds. Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. 416 pp.
  • Scott, Stephen. The Amish Wedding and Other Special Occasions of the Old Order Communities. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1988. 128pp.
  • Stevick, Richard A. Growing Up Amish: the Teenage Years. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. 320 pp.
  • Umble, Diane Zimmerman. Holding the Line: the Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. 192 pp.
  • Umble, Diane Zimmerman and David L. Weaver-Zercher, eds. The Amish and the Media. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. 288 pp.
  • Weaver-Zercher, David L. The Amish in the American Imagination. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. 280 pp.
  • Yoder, Harvey. The Happening: Nickel Mines School Tragedy. Berlin, OH: TGS International, 2007. 173 pp.

External links