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Two Very Different Peoples: the Amish and Oneidas - Essay Example

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Two Very Different Peoples: the Amish and Oneidas

Two examples of such groups are the Amish and the Oneida. This essay examines these two specific groups, considering the differences and similarities between the two in terms of a wide range of different factors, including leadership, tradition, and religion. While the two groups appear to be extremely different at first glance, there are in fact some remarkable similarities. History The Amish arrived in the United States after emigrating from European German-speaking countries. They arrived in two waves, first between 1727 and 1790, and the second between 1815 and 1860. They live in discreet communities, having little to no contact with the outside world. Their way of life is based on Christian teaching, although they are not involved with any state churches. Instead, their study of the bible and teachings are all internal. Most Amish live in the countryside, near small towns, which often contain a mixture of Amish and non-Amish families. Currently, congregations of Amish fall into two categories. The first is Old Order Amish, which is more traditional. This group maintains values such as using horse and buggy as a means of transport, maintaining only simple attire, they do not use many types of technology, and tend to homeschool their children. Many people consider the Amish to be a religious sect or cult, accusing them of mistreating children and forcing members to stay against their will. Others consider the Amish simply to be following an alternative lifestyle, which has a much stronger focus on family and community than the average for American Society. While the Amish were immigrants to America, arriving from Europe, the Oneida were native to the land. They are a Native American tribe that has its roots in central New York. Like all Native American tribes, the Oneida suffered extensively at the hands of the Europeans through disease and war. As a consequence of this, their numbers were dramatically reduced. Native Americans did not uniformly ally with one side or the other during the Revolutionary War; instead, their alliance was based on their tribe, with most allying with the Europeans. The Oneida, however, were strong allies with the Americans throughout the Revolutionary War. However, this was not enough to ensure that they kept their land or rights. The Oneida suffered forced relocation and the loss of their ancestral lands in the same way that other tribes. Leadership The concept behind the Amish lifestyle is to be able to participate in their Christian faith as they see fit, without going against the laws of the state or the country in which they abide. Currently, more than 200 settlements that are identified as Amish are present within North America. While there are more than 1,400 different congregations of Amish in the US, they have no structured organization or office. Instead, the different congregations may collaborate on some projects, but most often work individually. As a consequence, the policy of churches is extremely regionally based, and can significantly differ in both beliefs and practices even within a single area. Leadership both traditionally and in the present day has always been much stronger within the Oneida. The traditional system of leadership in Native American tribes such as Oneida is that of chiefdom. ...Show more
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This essay “Two Very Different Peoples: the Amish and Oneidas” examines these two specific groups, considering the differences and similarities between the two in terms of a wide range of different factors, including leadership, tradition, and religion…
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