The Amish once belonged to the Mennonites, who were named after Menno Simons, a Dutch Anabaptist leader. The Mennonites were persecuted in their native country, Holland and fled to Switzerland.
Later, in 1693, there was a split from the Swiss "Mennonite" Brethren in 1693. This split occurred mainly because of the practices of foot washing and avoidance. Today there is no organized Amish movement in Europe.
The Amish migrated to the United states in the early 1700 's. The majority arrived in Pennsylvania, this was part of a " Holy Experiment" organised by William Penn, which is said to have saved the Amish from extinction. They have enjoyed religious freedom from the time they arrived in America until the present, with only a few minor glitches, which have been resolved in court cases.
Since their arrival in Pennsylvania the Amish have been living in accordance to their religious beliefs. They live very simply, holding on to the
Bibliography: www.amish.net www.religioustolerance.org/amish http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/mennocon.html#amish http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/mennocon.html#amish http://holycrosslivonia.org/amish/ http://www.800padutch.com/amish.shtml