posted on Mar, 9 2007 @ 04:36 PM
Well, I can't comment on the Prince Hall part.
As far as the AF&AM and F&AM difference... modern Masonry began in London in 1717 when four lodges joined together and called themselves the Grand
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. In the process, they claimed jurisdiction over all Masons. Some other lodges got on board with this new idea, but
others did not.
The ones who didn't said that the new idea of a grand lodge was "modern", and against the "ancient" principles of the order. To spite em, they
formed their OWN organization, calling themselves the "Antient" Freemasons.
Lodges that were formed under the Antient's grand lodge took the initials AF&AM for "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". Lodges that formed under
the "Moderns" took the initials F&AM, for "Free and Accepted Masons".
Eventually (within the next 20 years)The modern era of Masonry began in London England in 1717 when four old lodges joined together and called
themselves Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and claimed jurisdiction over all Masons. Some other lodges (in London and elsewhere in England)
joined in with this new grand lodge plan, but others did not.
The ones who didn't said that the new idea of a grand lodge was a "modern" invention, and against the "ancient" principles of Masonry. But
eventually, they formed their own rival grand lodge, called themselves "Ancient" or "Antient" Freemasons, and called their rivals the "Moderns".
If you can't beat em, join em.
Lodges that were formed under the Ancient's grand lodge took the initials AF&AM for "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". Lodges that formed under
the "Moderns" took the initials F&AM, for "Free and Accepted Masons" (without the Ancient).
Soon after, Masonry came from jolly old England to the USA. Some of the new grand lodges got their charters (permission to form and work) from the
Modern grand lodge, and some from the Antient. Eventually, each state in the US had its own grand lodge, descended either directly or indirectly from
those two feuding grand lodges.
Then, the two grand lodges kissed and made up, becoming the United Grand Lodge of England -- so now all English lodges take the initials UGLE.
In the US, there was a reconciliation between the ancients and moderns after the Revolutionary War... but anti-England sentiment was high. The idea of
taking the newfangled UGLE initials was abhorrent... so, they snubbed their noses at England by keeping their roots, and the initials that they were
So, what does that all amount to? Just history. There is really no difference between the 'types'.