Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
About thirty five percent of the world population drives on the left. Thank you Britain. But do we have the right to judge them ? Actually, in a feudal past, when people needed letters and dove to send a Tweet, everybody was driving on the left. Why?
About the ninety per cent of people are right handed and it’s easier to use a sword on a horse when you are on the left. In a fact, this is the only way to hit anybody, protect yourself or just to scratch your itchy leg with the sword.
In the late 1700s the big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses were very popular in the USA and France. They had no driver’s seat so the drivers were used to sit on the left rear horse to keep their right arms free to lash the team. These were the reason why people started to drive on right side. Left rear horse place is similar to having left-situated steering wheel, isn’t it ?
Russian Empress Elizabeth. (We don’t like her in Poland). With Germans and Austrians, made three partitions of Poland, but OK, she was a nice lady. It was in 1752 when she officially issued an edict for traffic to keep to the right in Russia. The biggest country in the world. And it was an example for others.
France did it after The Revolution. Those were the times of Napoleon. Probably the smallest man in the world with the biggest complexes in history who decided to conquer the whole of Europe. He was close to doing it and earlier he spread right-handed traffic law across the continent.
The trend among nations over the years has been toward driving on the right, but Britain has done its best to stave off global homogenisation. Left-hand driving was made mandatory in Britain in 1835. Countries which were part of the British Empire followed suit. Actually, I don’t know if ‘followed’ is the best word because colonies had the a smaller choice than Eskimos in an Indian shop.
This is why to this very day, India, Australasia and the former British colonies in Africa go left. The only exception is Egypt which had been conquered by Napoleon before becoming a British dependency.
Aha, and there is Japan. They also drive on the left just because of English companies. We have to get used to it. As well as to their different handles, taps and unhealthy breakfasts.