The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian denomination formed in 1693 with some German-speaking Mennonites. The group was formed over the practice of shunning. Today there are four sects which fall under the term Amish. The Old Order Amish live in rural communities in North America and are famous for their plain dress and limited use of technology. Amish Mennonites is the term for those that split from the Old Order Amish in the 1880’s. They live a life similar to Old Order Amish, but have modernized some aspects of their life. The Beachy Amish formed in 1927. They have fewer limits on the use of technology and do not shun members who join Mennonite churches. Lastly, the New Order Amish formed in 1966. They are considered the least restrictive of the Amish group. New Order Amish permit the use of electricity in their home and do not practice shunning.
The Amish in North America have remained largely isolated. They can be considered more of an ethnic group than a religion as many people for Amish families who do not join the church still identify themselves as Amish. Amish in North America are mostly found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, although there are Amish populations in 18 other states as well. They mostly speak English and German. Although there are several distinct sects of Amish, they share many common beliefs. Below we will talk about Amish education, cuisine, the period of Rumspringa and marriage customs.
The Amish education system varies drastically from that of the public U. S. school system. The schools are linked very closely to the community in which they are located. Each Amish community has a one room schoolhouse, donated and built by the local community. These schools are run by one, possibly two teachers who are usually unwed Amish women. These teachers are generally educated in the same Amish schoolhouses.
The reason for small community schoolhouses rather than public education is that the...