It is proved that, among all restricted preference domains that guarantee consistency (i.e. transitivity) of pairwise majority voting, the single-peaked domain is the only minimally rich and connected domain that contains two completely reversed strict preference orders. It is argued that this result explains the predominant role of single-peakedness as a domain restriction in models of political economy and elsewhere. The main result has a number of corollaries, among them a dual characterization of the single-dipped do-main; it also implies that a single-crossing (`order-restricted') domain can be minimally rich only if it is a subdomain of a single-peaked domain. The conclusions are robust as the results apply both to domains of strict and of weak preference orders, respectively.