Countercultures of America

Topics: Amish, Religion, Oneida, New York Pages: 8 (2969 words) Published: March 23, 2006
America is a "melting pot" of many different people, ideas and beliefs; that is why it is called the "Land of the Free", it is as unique as each citizen that lives here. The American population is made up of many different ethnic groups; some coming over from Europe, Africa etc. When the country first started, people came over to experience the "new" world. Today, people come over to escape their lives in hope for a better one. Whatever the reason, people come here to mix into the melting pot by bringing their own beliefs and value systems with them. Our country's laws are based on the Constitution, which gives it's citizens the freedom to live their lives as they wish, with lots of opportunities. There are many different sub-cultures or countercultures of America. The reasons for these groups starting in America could be individualism, the need to be part of a group, dissatisfaction with society, and also intolerance with different people or attitudes.

A lot of America's Sub-cultures or countercultures branched out and began their new lifestyles because of dissatisfaction with society and wanted to start their own religion/group in the land of the free. Some of these groups still exist today and other groups could not find enough people with common interests or our country did not approve of their way of life. The first sub-culture happens to be a religious groups. The Hutterites are considered a radical wing of a protestant movement, they decided to start a commune because of religious persecution. The Hutterites established there roots in America with leader Jacob Hutter, and his group wanting to escape the harsh religious conditions in Austria. In 1874 the Hutterites emigrated to South Dakota for religious freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, our country was not so accepting of the Hutterites way of life, as they thought we would be. South Dakota state government and the American culture forced the Hutterites commune into Alberta and Manitoba, Canada. After a year or so, the American culture righted it's wrong once again and invited them back into South Dakota to live, most of them migrated back. The Hutterites were odd to us because their beliefs were considered extreme, Men and women lived separate lives except a meals and services. The Hutterites were celibate and felt that sexual contact between a man and a woman was a sin and distracted from the relationship they had with God. Americans did not embrace this group very well because they were outside the "norm" of American culture, but the Hutterites were very accepting of Americans and the lifestyles they chose to pursue.

Another group that stemmed out of dissatisfaction is the Amish. The Amish movement started in Europe by Jacob Amman, it was considered an attempt to revive Mennonite practices. The Amish left Europe and migrated to the United States in search of fulfillment within a new society. They Amish believe in the simple things that our country use to stand for before industrialization took over making the pace of out lives faster and less complicated. The Amish religion still exist today, partially because of Rum Springer, Amish teenagers get to experience the fast-paced American lifestyle for themselves. After that year of experimenting, most decide to join the church and get married. Americans are more accepting of them because they share a lot of the same beliefs that we do, as well as being our window to what are ancestors lives were like without modern technology. As American's we want an escaped from the fast paced, hair on fire lifestyle were use to in favor for the slower, appreciate the sunset lifestyle that they live. Amish are also very close knit and family oriented, the churches actually meet in their homes and the services last about four hours. They also home school their children and spend their leisurely time with family and friends from the community.

Another dissatisfied group is the Oneida community, they are a...
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