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The Counterculture of the Amish: A Fundamentalist Perspective Essay

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“They call themselves the Plain People. The men and women known as the Old Order Amish till their fields with horse and plow, travel by horse and buggy, and live without electricity or telephones” (Egenes xiii). In the technologically advanced and modern world we live in today, the word “plain” is extinct from contemporary culture. It is hard to imagine a life without the present-day conveniences that American society tends to take for granted on a daily basis. A world without telephones, electricity, computers and television is almost unfathomable in America, however, not to the Amish. This paper will be discussing how the Amish are a counterculture that oppose almost every aspect of the modern lifestyle of society in the United States, as well as develop a research proposal which will focus on crime in the Amish culture versus crime in American culture among teens. In order to begin to investigate this, it is important to have an understanding of the history of the Amish.
The origin and migration, religious beliefs and practices, economic organization, family and community, as well as education are all important components to understanding the background of the Amish. The first Amish families arrived to America in the 1700s, in search of religious freedom, escaping persecution in Germany, Switzerland, and France (Egenes xiii). The families started in Pennsylvania, and after waves of immigration in the 1800s, Amish population eventually spread to 20 other states (Egenes xiii). Religion is a remarkably significant component of their society in which a member vows to live a life full of Christian principles and follow the rules of church and community until death (Egenes xiv). Baptism does not occur until later in teenage ye...


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Gaddy, C. Welton., and Barry W. Lynn. First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State. Boston: Beacon, 2008. Print.
McGahey, Richard, and Jennifer S. Vey. Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America's Older Industrial Areas. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution, 2008. Print.
Misiroglu, Gina. "Amish." American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History. Vol. Two. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2009. 28-29. Print.
Schwieder, Elmer, Dorothy Schwieder, and Thomas J. Morain. A Peculiar People: Iowa's Old Order Amish : An Expanded Edition. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 2009. Print.
Walbert, David J. Garden Spot: Lancaster County, the Old Order Amish, and the Selling of Rural America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. Print.


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