Beyond the loud entertainment system, flat screen television set, game system, high tech touch screen cell phone, and car would you say you live a pretty peaceful and simple life? Now close your eyes and think what if all those things where gone, would it peaceful for you? Without these gadgets the Amish cultures live a peaceful and fulfilling simple life. The Amish sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.
In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites immigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. The Amish originally came to America in search of religious freedom, fleeing severe persecution in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace (an area of France bordering Germany and Switzerland in which a German dialect is spoken). The first Amish families arrived in 1737 and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Another wave of immigration followed between 1815 and 1860, and the Amish eventually spread to 20 other states, including Iowa. Today no Amish groups remain in Europe. The most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. However, a dialect of Swiss German predominates in some Old Order Amish communities, especially in the American state of Indiana.
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