Some key events in Amish history include the establishment of the movement by Jakob Amman in the 17th century as a branch of the Mennonite faith; the migration of the first Amish settlers to America in 1727; and the spread of Amish immigrants across the country following the American Civil War. Although most of the early Amish settlers arrived in Philadelphia, the "second wave" after the War of 1812 tended to arrive in cities like New York and New Orleans.
Another significant event in Amish history was the split between conservative and progressive believers in 1865. The progressives, who eventually became the Amish Mennonites, disagreed with many of the church's traditional teachings and pushed for more contemporary clothing, eliminating the ban on holding public office, and relaxing the Amish practice of shunning. This created two distinct branches of Amish communities, with the conservative believers later referred to as the "Old Order Amish."
In the 20th century, some significant moments in Amish history occurred during World War I and World War II, when the Amish policy of nonviolence came into conflict with the United States' conscription act, leading to mistreatment of the Amish and public perception of the German-speaking Amish as sympathizers.