Piet Oud is right, very long it was the norm everywhere to drive left, because the roads were dangerous, and if you had a weapon you wanted to walk on the left, so you had free space with your right hand to pull your sword and defend you against Onk Omend traffic.Most were right then as well as now.
The question is then, why was this changed?This probably has to do with farmers who transported their products with horse and carriage. Around 1700 we find the first references to this in America and France.
Feed men transported a cart with proceeds from a farmer, and this was pulled by a team of horses, often a piece or 4. There was no seat on the cart, so the driver sat on one of the horses:
-Picture of Ross Farm Museum, New Ross-TripAdvisor
It was most convenient to sit on the left rear horse.The Carter kept the reins in the right hand (because, most people are right), and by sitting left, he was able to control these horses all easier.
Then it is convenient to go right, because then you can keep an eye on the Carter that other road users do not come under the wheels or the hooves, if you drive left you only have an overview of the berm.
I believe it had something to do with many people who pulled into the city, that urbanization needed more food to be transported to the city, and these feed men became common road users.
There was already a mention of a Danish ambassador in Russia from 1709, that it was customary here to keep right on the road (so in Russia it was standard but in Denmark still noteworthy).In 1752, it was legally laid down in Russia that one had to keep to the right. Then France followed, where the deposition of the nobility in the French Revolution helped tremendously.
Because keeping the left was a use that was maintained before and by the nobility, they were the stand with the weapons.After the revolution, this was done, and it was more practical to keep traffic right for the farmers.
In the US, a similar revolution was underway, and the rest of Europe (and the world) followed their example.In Europe it was mainly Napoleon who distributed the right drive, for that it was also customary in the Netherlands to maintain links. For instance, driving right was standardized.
Except Britain and its colonies.I do not know why those links remained, probably their sense of exception did not allow them to pursue the example of the Continent.
Why do some countries drive on the left and others on the right?-World Standards
Because left is the ‘ good side ‘, because then you no one accidentally touches your sword that hangs on your back from your right shoulder blade to your left hip.
Furthermore, a Wikipedia page has been added: driving Links-Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Piet Oud and Evert de Ruiter are both right, with all the supplement that if you walk left on the road you have links also walls and ditches in defense.Your attacker usually comes from the right.
The troops of Napoleon were also equipped with rifles and what is true for swords, includes rifles.When you watch a rifle, it points from the right shoulder to the left side. So if you are marching right, you have right walls and ditches in defense and left the open road where your weapon is aiming to shoot or with a bayonet to cross.
Good ideas have many fathers.Napoleon seems to have had great success in battles by advancing right, and attacking to the left, when everyone else walked left, even armies. He argued that in all areas conquered. England and Sweden were not overcome by him, and remained “just” driving left.
I dare not say so much why from England it was decided to drive left instead of right, but I suspect that it has to do with that Great Britain would like to distinguish itself from Europe and especially France in the time of Napoleon.
Why so many countries drive even more links has to do with the former colonial atmosphere of Great Britain.Look for a picture of the former English colonial empire (1918 is the best year before) then you will see that most countries where left is driven were former English colonies. The Brits have the system of driving links in colonial times here so introduced it except for a few countries this has never been adjusted.