|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM|
From 1751 to 1813, there were actually 2 Grand Lodges in England. The difference in AF&AM vs F&AM states goes back to a disagreement between these 2 Grand Lodges in London at that time.
One group was called the "Moderns", but was actually the older of the 2 English Grand Lodges. The other group was called the "Antients", which became the "Ancients" in AF&AM.
Due to this disagreement, the 2 groups broke into separate Grand Lodges. The disagreement was later healed around 1880, but by that time, there were lodges and Grand Lodges all over the United States that were descended from one group or the other, and so each group kept their corresponding initials with which they were formed, (which is the reason for which there are small differences within different states' ritual wording and Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures).
Most Grand Lodges in the U.S. recognize each other and treat each other's members as valid Masons. Also, all of the U.S. Grand Lodges recognize (and are recognized by) the official Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, Scotland and the Grand Lodges in most of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Thailand, India, etc.