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Old 04 December 2017, 09:29 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast WildaBeast is offline
Join Date: 18 July 2002
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 15,862
Default We drive on the right because of Napolean

I just came across this claim on another board:

It's one of those little things that annoy me - when people think the English are quaint and on the "wrong" side of the road. The truth is that *everyone* used to mount from the left / ride on the left / pass on the right hand. For exactly the same reasons as the steer-side discussion above(*) - the majority are right handed! You pass on the right so you can defend yourself with your sword arm!

Believe it or not, driving on the other side is only common now since a few countries in continental Europe were converted when the French army marched that way, because... Napoleon was left handed!

Then more followed during the political upheavals of the early 20th century where conquering countries imposed their own rules.
I mean, the obvious flaw in that claim is that even if Napoleon was left handed, surely most of his soldiers weren't. If the reason for riding on the left was so you could use your sword to defend yourself, why would he force his soldiers use a side that made it more difficult to defend themselves?
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