History of the Amish in Canada Essay

History of the Amish in Canada Essay

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The term “Amish” was first used when a man by the name Jakob Ammann led a group of people who conformed to his beliefs and objected those of the Swiss brotherhood. This started the sect of Mennonite Christianity known as the Amish. From this point, Mennonite and Amish people began migrating to America. The initial cause for Jakob’s decision to sever ties with the Anabaptist was a lack of discipline within the church. During the eighteenth century, due to religious wars and poverty, the Amish community began to migrate across the continent of America. During the nineteenth century, there was a series of conferences held that brought the Amish leaders together to discuss the future of the Amish people. After several days of these meetings, the more conservative and traditional minded Amish leaders boycotted the conferences. This caused another historical severance in the history of the Amish. This split allowed one to differentiate between the old order Amish (traditional minded) and the new order Amish (progressive minded). From the old order Amish, another order arose known as the Swartzentruber Amish. This group came out of a 1917 split in Holmes County, Ohio. The majority of the Swartzentruber Amish are located in Holmes County and Wayne County. Holmes County is 423.98 square miles and Wayne County is 556.82 square miles. Both of which are located in northeastern central Ohio. These communities have an explicit enculturation process that produces the cultural components that are commonly associated with Amish people. Examples of Amish culture are modest clothing, hairstyles, and even house decor. Their lifestyle is so saturated by religion and discipline that you cannot be Amish without being disciplined and religious. The de...


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...unity. Regardless of all the divisions within the Amish and Swartzentruber order, this order has managed to grow and spread into 13 states and into Canada. The Swartzentruber are maintaining their extreme traditional beliefs and values, yet managing to develop and grow substantially. Since this community does not rely heavily on the government and state assistance, but on their families and community as a whole, they will most likely continue to thrive in the world. The Swartzentruber see themselves as one of the few groups that still abide by the original Amish practices. People that look at this community consider them “stuck in time” because of the minimal amount of conformity found within the community. This group is an excellent example of a cultural community, because of the influences that produced the group and where the group has progressed from its origin.

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