There is a large group of people in this country, as many as 100,000, who will never see the HowStuffWorks Web site because they don't have computers, don't have the electricity to run computers, and don't want the electricity to run computers. These folks get around in horse-drawn buggies and use lanterns for light. The people to whom I refer are collectively known as "the Amish." That the Amish have been able to maintain an 18th century lifestyle in a 21st century world is amazing!


In this article, we will explore how and why the Amish live as they do.

The Old Order
There are many subtle variations among the Amish people. In appearance, they integrate almost seamlessly with conservative Mennonite orders, and the two are often confused. Some Amish have even split off and merged into Mennonite communities. The information in this article applies mainly to the "Old Order" Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who are the oldest, best known, and reputedly the most well off, representing perhaps 10 percent of the total Amish community.