I will probably make some members these very happy if I resign, thereby allowing them unbridled license to spew inaccurate, biased, poorly researched, superficial answers and win the points popularity contests.
The question you need to ask yourself is: will you be making yourself happy?
Presumably you signed on here because you did want to participate in the creation of "some sort of authoritative repository for History". And unless you were exceedingly naive back then, you must've realized how monumental a task this would be...
The study of history has always been fraught with controversy and bias, even among trained scholars. Would you expect anything different on a website open to the general public and (at this point in time) populated by folks for whom it is primarily a hobby? I don't think you would, and I don't think you did - from what I can see, you're a pretty savvy observer. So you knew what you were getting into...
...But of course, that doesn't make it any less frustrating.
Here's the kicker: we don't know if this idea will pan out. There's a big blue "Beta" label in the title because we don't know if it'll work. Enthusiasm and hope don't always translate into something good... Sometimes, the problem is too hard, the goals of each individual too much in conflict with one another, and that initial optimism dies along with any hope of making The Internet a better place for finding good information on a topic. If History Stack Exchange falls apart, descending into partisan bickering and irrelevance, then... Well, it'd hardly be the first such community to do so.
But here's why I think it has a chance:
I have no time or patience for the childish petulance of some members
Neither do I. And I don't even participate on this site. I signed on to Stack Overflow five years ago because I was sick of lazy questions, poorly-researched opinionated answers, and endless bickering... About computer programming. The software here allowed for a few things that weren't possible elsewhere, and with them a chance at producing something other than yet another group of misinformed jackasses:
- Questions can be edited to clearly state a problem without unnecessary cruft.
- Answers are not locked into a fixed chronological order, but can be posted at any time, edited and improved, and elevated based on their usefulness to others.
- Threads can be closed and removed if they become opinion-heavy train-wrecks.
- Comments are optional, and voting - the means by which useful answers are elevated and misinformed ones are buried - is strictly anonymous.
- Civility is required. If you can't criticize constructively, then don't say anything at all; if you're just here to troll for knee-jerk responses or get up on your soapbox, you can go somewhere else.
Of course, as useful as these tools are in overcoming some of the worst tendencies of online (or other...) communities, they're no magic pixie dust: folks can and do misuse them or fail to utilize them at all. It's not hard to find lousy questions and useless answers on Stack Overflow or any other SE site, and sometimes that ends up being all a site can produce... Sometimes, these beta experiments fail.
But this one hasn't yet, and doesn't need to. Maybe it has for you, and that's your call - if you're done trying to make this place something better, then you're better off walking away now; this should never be something you aren't doing out of love for the topic and hope for the creation of a better place for it. But if you do stick around - and for the rest of the folks who are sticking around - I have a few suggestions that might make it a bit less of a painful experience for you...
Vote! Vote like the outcome of a Chicago election depends on it. You think you know what a good question or answer looks like? Then make that known: vote up everything good, and down-vote everything bad. What's that? You don't think a lazy, unsourced but nominally-correct answer is worth a down-vote? You're afraid of driving away new members by rating their poorly-asked questions honestly? Then you deserve the crap-fest you get as a result.
Write the best damn answers you can. You can't control what other people do, but when it comes to writing your own answer you have the final say in what it looks like: use it. Be your own worst critic, and lead by example: if you're concerned about bias and lack of citations elsewhere, make sure your own answers are factual and clearly drawn from reliable sources. Respond to external criticism by going above and beyond to edit in relevant information and present it in a clear writing style.
Leave concise, factual criticism on misleading answers. But don't get drawn into arguments: say your piece and walk away. If someone can refute your critique, they're free to do so, but make it clear by your actions that you won't be drawn into pointless debates. By the same token, don't respond to criticisms on your own posts unless you can refute them with facts and without becoming emotional or defensive. Don't Feed The Trolls: if you observe a particularly inflammatory or nonconstructive comment (on any post), flag it and move on. Ditto for questions or answers that are clearly, irredeemably inflammatory.
Voting is anonymous - keep it that way. The reputation and scoring systems here are fun, and serve a useful purpose in controlling both the privileges assigned to members and the status of individual posts. That said, they are not the primary focus of this site. If you end up fixating on them - or encouraging others to do so - everyone will suffer for this. So leaving comments like this:
-1: [actual problem goes here]
Downvoting because... [reasoned critique goes here].
or even this:
+1: [reason why you think a post is valuable goes here].
...is all counter-productive. Instead of leading with the information you most want to communicate, you're starting right off with a distraction - and an implicit invitation for the reader to engage in some tit-for-tat rather than calmly addressing or refuting your criticisms. Even if everything else you write is constructive and well-reasoned, you're subverting this tone right from the start - stop doing that.
To summarize all this: if you're going to participate here, do your best to work with the system, to use the tools given you, and to set an example for others to follow. It's not easy, and there's no guarantee of success, but very little of value in this world comes easily or without effort; if you think this is important, then work to make it happen.
In closing, I'd like to thank you for raising this topic here. Even if you did so in an unnecessarily dramatic fashion, the fact that you decided to take a matter that's been troubling you before the community here rather than passive-aggressively working it into your communication on the site itself speaks to a level of respect for others that, IMHO, would be nice to see more of.