• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

THE UNITED KINGDOM claims to be the birthplace of the terms left wing and right wing based on the working class House of Commons' chambers being in the Parliament Building's left wing with the aristocracy's House of Lords' chambers being in the right wing. Historically, demands for reform tended to originate in the Commons (the left wing) and were resisted by the Lords (the right wing). Most scholars today, however, agree that the terms left and right originated in revolutionary France.

Of course, conservatism is as old as human politics, emerging the first time a change was proposed in some prehistoric council and was opposed by defenders of tradition, precedent, stability, past success, and/or principle. In general, British right-wing conservatism has aspired to the preservation of ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles