Portion of the political spectrum associated with conservative political thought. The term derives from the seating arrangement of the French revolutionary parliament (c. 1790s) in which the conservative representatives sat to the presiding officer's right. In the 19th century, the term applied to conservatives who supported authority, tradition, and property. In the 20th century a divergent, radical form developed that was associated with fascism. See also left.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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