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Puritans And The Amish: Are They Similar, Or Not?

1010 words - 5 pages

The Puritans played an instrumental role in shaping today’s culture, and can be compared to the present day Amish. It all began around the 1500’s in England where people started to question their way of life and demand change. This created an extensive variety of religions that then spread across the world. As time progressed, and the world developed, these religions weaved in and out of each other, creating what we have today. Although the Puritans and the Amish share some beliefs, there are numerous differences that define them as their own religions.
The Puritans first originated in England during the 1500’s, and faced numerous conflicts throughout their time. These began with their efforts to change the Church of England. This turned out to be one of their greatest challenges as they faced a substantial amount of opposition. The term they were known for, "Puritan”, came from their goal of purifying the church and restoring it to how it is described in the Bible (“Puritans” World Book). During this time of reform, there were Puritans with more radical views such as removing bishops and replacing the Episcopal with a new Presbyterian system. At the same time, there was also a group of independents with even stronger radical views. These independents later broke off from the Puritans and became known as the Baptists. A man named John White led the main sending of Puritans to Massachusetts and the main expansion of the Puritans religion (Melton 52; 58). Due to this push for the religion, the Puritans had a strong influence on the social, political, and religious aspects in both America and England. Today, the term Puritans has come to mean strictness in moral or religious matters (“Puritans” World Book).
The Amish stem from a group in Europe known as the Anabaptists who were prosecuted in the sixteenth century. Jumping forward, the Amish spread across the U.S. and heavily populated Ohio in 1810. A decent amount of the Amish remained in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Amish believe in following their strict set of traditions and methods of life. Also, they are raised with more hard work and responsibilities than the average person. They believe that this promotes self-esteem and a sense of belonging. One way the Amish maintain their traditions and pass them on to their children is by isolating themselves from the other influences of the world. This creates a sort of cushion or shield to keep out the harmful elements that have become acceptable in our society. Part of Amish worship involves singing and chanting in one of their main languages, German. Their songs have simply been passed down from one generation to the next. The Amish church has a bishop, deacon, and a minister (Seitz and Seitz 6; 8-10).The Amish tend to shy away from most worldly matters but do occasionally involve themselves in other controversial matters such as politics. This could be to either maintain their way of life or to help others in the pursuit of their faith....

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