American history, politics, and culture: a non-partisan look at our past and how it influences our lives today.

Location: USA
Members: 38
Latest Activity: May 5, 2012


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

-- Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO was formed to help us explore the history, politics, and culture of America and its people.

Like many Americans, my understanding of the history and events that shaped this nation—and the people we are today—is greatly lacking. Modern life is structured in a way that does not require us to draw upon our history as a frame of reference when making decisions, when interpreting the news or political propaganda, when voting, or even when stating our opinions—although we would be better off if it did.

To be honest, I probably will not post to this group very often, as history is not my strength. FOUR SCORE was created to give you history buffs out there a chance to show us what you know, and give persons like me an opportunity to learn something new.

Understanding where we’ve been will help us understand where we are going. Understanding who we have been will help us understand who we will become. Understanding how the past affects the present will help us understand how the present shapes the future.

Rules of Participation
This is non-partisan group, so posts need to be fact-oriented, educational, professional, and—you guessed it—non-partisan. There are several political groups on A|N, and inside those groups members often say things that would probably irritate other people outside of those political parties. If you want to be with like-minded members, then join one of those groups (links provided below). Of course, I realize that when dealing with political and historical events, it will be difficult to be 100% non-partisan, and someone may always take exception to this or that—but just strive to be as fair as you can, and watch what you say. Try to stay focused on education and verifiable information.

Be brief: Comprehensive is good, but brevity is better. There is a lot of information on the web, and a lot of activity on A|N—basically, there are a lot of things competing for our attention. You will get more mileage out of your posts if you remain succinct and focused.

Be focused: It is all but impossible to separate American history from world history, but when posting events that occur outside of the continental US, you will need to focus on how America has played a role in those events. For example, if you post something about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, you will need to show how that conflict affects the US, or how the US affects that conflict.

Be accurate: This is not a group for those who have an axe to grind, those eager to make outrageous and implausible claims, or for the gullible who believe the US was founded by aliens some time after they built the great pyramids in Egypt. In other words: No crazy stuff!

Be relevant: In the past decade I have noticed that the Geneva Conventions have been in the news quite a bit. How many of us fully understand what the Geneva Conventions are, why we signed them, and what they mean? If you see or hear of a current event, and some part of our history is relevant to that event, then please take the initiative to create a post that will help us understand it.

Posts do not have to be about politics or historical events only. Post can include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Civil rights
  • Voting rights
  • Capitalism and economic policy
  • Native Americans, minorities, and social groups
  • Immigration history and trends
  • Government bureaus, organizations, and agencies
  • Famous and influential Americans (both in and out of office)
  • Inventions, commodities, and discoveries
  • Foreign policy and trade
  • The separation of church and state
  • Political demographics and political party history
  • National parks, landmarks, and treasures
  • Cities, towns, and sites of historical significance
  • Healthcare, welfare, social security, and other social programs
  • Personal or cultural customs, beliefs, and behaviors
  • Wars and conflicts

It is inevitable that there will be some cross-over in topics and issues related to American history with other groups here on A|N. Would you post Mark Twain in this group because he is an influential American, or would you post him in the Nexus Book Club? Tough choice! Use your best judgment and post the topic in the group that best fits the focus of the discussion. Please do not cross post the same discussion twice in different groups. It is against Atheist Nexus policy to do so.

  • Hostile or discourteous comments, proselytizing, and ad homenim attacks on other members.
  • Modern political debates and candidate/party information.
  • Current news and events unrelated to historical and non-partisan events.

Group member book and DVD recommendations:
The Founding Fathers (DVD), recommended by Dallas Gaythiest
Ben Franklin (DVD), recommended by Dallas Gaytheist
American Experience | Eleanor Roosevelt. recommended by Dallas Gaytheist

Other A|N groups of interest:
Anarchist Atheists
Barack Obama ’08
Conversations about Race, Ethnicity and Culture
Democrats/American Liberals
Free Thinking Anarchists
Green Party
History Talk
The Other Free Thinkers

External links of interest:
Bill of Rights
Constitution of the United States
Declaration of Independence
Federal Election Commission
Help American Vote Act of 2002
House of Representatives
Library of Congress
The National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner
National Archives
National Park Service
Presidential Libraries
Smithsonian Institution
Supreme Court
Voting Rights Act of 1965
White House

Discussion Forum

When Ulysses Grant Expelled the Jews

Started by Daniel W Mar 24, 2012. 0 Replies


Started by Jim DePaulo. Last reply by Daniel W Feb 22, 2012. 16 Replies

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Sep 27, 2010. 3 Replies

History Channel Nonsense

Started by Jim DePaulo. Last reply by Jim DePaulo Aug 13, 2010. 7 Replies

Favorite Quotes

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Jul 22, 2010. 19 Replies

Eleanor Roosevelt Documentaries

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Brian Lemaire Mar 26, 2010. 5 Replies

Thomas Jefferson | A Film by Ken Burns

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Nov 13, 2009. 2 Replies

The Geneva Conventions

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Jaume Oct 18, 2009. 5 Replies

The History Channel | Ben Franklin

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Oct 17, 2009. 9 Replies

James Madison's view point of the First Amendment

Started by Louis Davout. Last reply by Louis Davout Sep 26, 2009. 3 Replies

The Forgotten Slaves in America

Started by Jim DePaulo. Last reply by Jim DePaulo Sep 14, 2009. 7 Replies

The Naturalization Act of 1790

Started by A Former Member Sep 12, 2009. 0 Replies

American Experience | Alexander Hamilton

Started by A Former Member Sep 12, 2009. 0 Replies

The Naming of America

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Jaume Sep 9, 2009. 6 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO to add comments!

Comment by Daniel W on February 27, 2012 at 11:03pm

Peonage was central to the Southern economy for several generations, and a major force in the formation of race relations in the South and the rest of the US.  Peonage was an engine for one of the greatest human migrations, African Americans leaving the South for industrial centers in the North and new lives on the West Coast.  This link taught me more in an hour than I've learned in a life time about this topic, and a piece of truly important American history.  Slavery by another name.  Originally posted in the Black Freethought group by Joe Monroe.

Comment by Daniel W on February 22, 2012 at 6:05pm

What are you reading?  I have a few books going now.  Inhuman Bondage is a more complete history of slavery than I have ever read.  I have it on audiobook, so I can listen while driving.  Im also reading 1493 - a companion book to 1491, on the global transformation that occurred as a result of transcontinental travel and commerce (The Columbian Exchange).  Without the tomato, where would Italian food be?  Without the potato, where would irish and german food be?  No chili peppers- so much for Thai and Indian food.  Both are interesting histories.If anyone is interested in discussing these oks, I'm your man.

Comment by A Former Member on December 11, 2010 at 4:22pm

Thanks for joining us Keith. Yeah, the group is pretty inactive. I've not been watching any documentaries lately, and I get so frustrated with the news that I don't listen any more -- so I miss out on some of the history-related things that I used to come across, like on NPR. Please feel free to post something of interest to you. Maybe you can revive the group a little.

Comment by Keith on December 11, 2010 at 4:19pm

I could feel very at home here. If it ever became more active.

Comment by A Former Member on September 3, 2010 at 9:26am
Comment by A Former Member on July 7, 2010 at 10:18am
I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet. Podcasts are posted online for only about 2 weeks, so listen soon if you're interested. - DG

Founding Fathers Reconsidered
From the archives - What kind of nation did the founders truly intend America to be? We discussed the ongoing debate and the diverse group of lawyers, merchants, soldiers, politicians and others who framed the Constitution in April with R.B. Bernstein, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School and author of "The Founding Fathers Reconsidered" (Oxford, 2009).
Comment by A Former Member on October 9, 2009 at 10:34am
Welcome aboard D.O.S. Please review the rules of participation, and share with us any pertinent info you'd like on the Cold War.
Comment by D.O.S on October 9, 2009 at 10:25am

Thanks for inviting me to this group. Currently I am a librarian for a community college. I cam from secondary education. I am a former high school and adult education teacher. I taught both English and Social Studies. I was particularly interested in Cold War studies.
Comment by A Former Member on September 26, 2009 at 5:18pm
@Arthur: Thanks for posting those Eisenhower links. I finally had time to read them. Good NYT article.
Comment by Arthur Meunier on September 18, 2009 at 12:42am
Ike's paper to Mr. Biggs, linked to in Blumenthal's article below:

" a democracy debate is the breath of life"

Members (38)


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