“Left wing” and “right wing” are two terms widely used in politics. When we want to say that someone is liberal and progressive we label him as a “left wing” person while a conservative is regarded as a right wing person. But even though we use these terms daily, few people actually know their true origin.
As it turns out, the left-right political spectrum originates from the seating arrangement in the French National Assembly during the French Revolution.
During the 1790s, when the French were trying to overthrow the monarchy, the seating in the assembly was based on political affiliation. King Louis XVI sat in front while to his left sat the liberals (Girondists) and radicals (Jacobins) who wanted the establishment of a democratic government and to his right sat the conservatives (Feuillants) who were in favor of the King and supported the consitutional monarchy. (the article continues after the ad)
Even today, in most House of Representatives the left-wing party occupies the side to the left and the right-wing party occupies the side to the right of the President of the House. Oddly enough, in the US House of Representatives, the seating arrangement have turned: Republicans sit to the left of the House Speakers and Democrats to his/her right.
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Main Article Photo: Democracy Now!, Al-Manar TV Lebanon
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Why Left and Right Mean Liberal and Conservative | “Where Did The Terms ‘Right Wing’ and ‘Left Wing’ Come From?”