The Amish are a Protestant religious group that today exists primarily in the United States and Canada. The Amish originally were Mennonites, but they broke away from the earlier group due to religious differences. The founder of the Amish was Jakob Amman, a Mennonite bishop in Switzerland. Amman argued that his followers must dedicate themselves to living a Godly lifestyle. The Amish were to "shun" any member who violated God's word. The Amish should simply excommunicate the bad members and refuse to have any further contact with them.
Like the Mennonites, the Amish faced religious persecution in Europe. They migrated to Pennsylvania during the 1700s and then spread across the Midwest and also into Canada. The first Amish people in Ohio arrived in the early 1800s. For the most part, they settled in northeastern Ohio. To this day, most of these people still earn their living through agriculture. Most Amish refuse to use any modern-day conveniences such as automobiles, electricity, and phones. They dress conservatively and plainly. Most use hooks and eyes on their clothing instead of buttons, a more modern invention. The Amish are to marry only within their sect. A few Amish members are more liberal, willing to use conveniences such as automobiles. These Amish groups are willing to ride in cars but unwilling to drive them. Whether liberal or conservative, most Amish people refuse to vote or to participate in the military. By the early 1990s, there were fewer than ninety thousand Amish people in North America. Most of these people belonged to the more conservative branch of the Amish faith.