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The Amish: A Utopian Community

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Rachel Wilkinson

on 7 July 2014

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Transcript of The Amish: A Utopian Community

Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Work
The Amish: A Utopian Community
Families and Gender Roles
Government & Leadership
History & Beliefs

Ordnung regulates decisions and varies amongst communities
Clothing must be simple, humble, and home-made
Women's attire
Long-sleeved dresses of a single color
Covered by apron & cape
Full skirts, black stockings & shoes
Hair is never cut & is in braids or bun
Head covered by cap
No patterned clothing or jewelry
Men's attire
Usually straight suits, uncreased & uncuffed trousers
No belts, gloves, neckties, sweaters, moustaches
Unmarried men: cleanshaven; married men: beards
Utopian connection:
Promotes virtue by avoiding temptation, vanity, or avarice (utopian citizen)
Reinforces reliance on family and home (connections / strong relationships)
Depends on traditional agrarian roles (connection to nature / land)
Identifies members' roles and standing within community (roles / hierarchy)
Symbolizes separation from modern society (isolation)
Manure instead of fertilizer
The Amish avoid using pesticides
Use horses to plow and plant their crops, instead of tractors and combines
They use crop rotation to keep the soil healthy
Basic Outline of Amish Leader
The Amish limit the size of each farm, so that each each family has all that they need, but no more (Equality/Lack of Luxury)
They rely on each other. If someone is unable to harvest their neighbors help out (Unity)
They do not use modern techniques of farming, machinery and pesticides (Isolation
They aren't overwhelmed by work because of the size of their land, but they always have something to do
They use crop rotation, so that the soil and crops are healthy (Sustainability)
The Amish have a government system that is based totally around the church. The leaders are chosen by lots to join the leaders group or Ordnung.
Utopian Connections:
What the heck is the Ordnung?
The Ordnung is the code of laws by which every community designs to suit their own desires. These are updated by church leaders yearly.
Wait! Do these hippies get a free ride?
Roles of Men:
Clear patriarchy
Bread winners
Religious head
Main decision makers
Amish do pay taxes: state and federal income taxes, sales and real estate taxes, and public school taxes. They are exempt from paying Social Security taxes since they do not use any social aid.
The Amish originated from the Anabaptist movement of the early 1500s in Switzerland.

Anabaptists believed only believing adults should be baptized, not infants

1693- Jacob Amman broke from the church, his followers were called the Amish

What if a Amish person commits a crime
Roles of Women:
Expected to marry
Have children
7 to 8
up to 15
Shunning- not associating with church members who don’t repent to encourage them to repent

Depending on the crime whether it be stealing from other Amish or killing the old lday on Elm street it is dealt with mostly the church and community though shunning and excommunication, or da police if its serious
Marriage Relationship:
Mutual respect not romantic love
Share household decisions
Man hasfinal word
No divorce
Hold negative emotions (ex: Irritation) in
Do they have court dramas?

The Amish don't see the earth as a source of food but a part of God's creation (They don't over use the land, and give everyone what they
They don't use technology because it distances them from their land and their family, therefore distancing them from God

No. all their legal troubles in the community are solved through a vote taken place by the congregration where they all together determine the fate.
Family Life:
Marriage between cousins
Every member has a role in the family bussiness
Elderly are respected and cared for by the family
So hows this like a utopia?
Well my young padawan, they have isolation, contentment, and they don't change their lives. These seem pretty utopian. They also do have a governing body, but there isn't a class structure.
About 3% of women own bussinesses
Teachers= Single women chosen by the school district
Education stops at 8th grade
No higher education
The strictness of the rules from the Ordnung vary between communities.
Health Care
Eutopic Elements:
Strong sense of purpose and roles
Contentment (accept roles)
Allowed to leave if they do not agree
Destiny structured and decided
Less individualtity= member of a unit
The Amish have their own healthcare system that they either pay through money from the chruch or they have auctions to make enough
simple life of faith, discipline, dedication and humility
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