Margaret Thatcher: A Celebrated Leader who Set Her Country on New Course

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher was a political leader who died at the age of 87. She served as Prime Minister in Britain and was a political phenomenon. Historical, Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to be elected and lead major western power. She was also the longest-serving Prime Minister, most defensive and dominant. Margaret Thatcher was a global figure who served her country well according to a report by The Guardian.

Here, we discuss

  • Early Life of Margaret Thatcher
  • Margaret Thatcher Career as a Prime Minister
  • Her First Term as a Prime Minister
  • Her Second Term as Prime Minister
  • Margaret Thatcher won 3rd consecutive term
  • Achievements of Margaret Thatcher

Let’s begin…

Early Life of Margaret Thatcher

She was born on 13th October 1925 in Lincolnshire, England. She is the only woman from Britain to win three consecutive terms in the 20th century.

  • When she was resigning, she was also the longest-serving Prime Minister in Britain.
  • Through her achievement, Margaret Thatcher accelerated the evolution of her country’s economy from statism and directed it to libertarian as The Guardian reported.
  • In Britain, Margaret Thatcher is also the most renowned leader after Winston Churchill.

Margaret Thatcher Career as a Prime Minister

In a report released by Britannica, they said that Margaret led the conservatives and got an electoral victory in 1979. That was after a series of major strikes in the previous winter which was termed as “Winter of Disconnect.” She won the sit using James Callaghan Labor Party.

Serving as a prime minister back then, Margaret Thatcher did represent a new energetic wing of her Conservative Party. Moreover, she also advocated greater independence of individuals in the state where she

  • Ended allegedly excessive government interference with the economy. By that, Thatcher did privatization of enterprises owned by the state, sold public housing to tenants, reduced expenditures of the social services such as education, health care, housing, and more.
  • She also limited the printing of money according to the economic doctrine of monetarism as she restricted legal trade unions.

Her name Thatcherism had a meaning and it refereed to policies and other aspects of her ethical look such as moral absolutism, personal style, and fierce nationalism.

Her First Term as a Prime Minister

  • In her first term as a prime minister, she had a great impact on the economy. She had inherited a weak economy and had to eliminate and reduce some subsidies to businesses and government regulations. To do so, she achieved by purging the manufacturing industry of inefficient firms.
  • It resulted in a dramatic increase in unemployment. From the figure of 1.3 million, unemployment increased doubling the figure in a period of two years. During that time, inflation also doubled within 14 months which was more than 20% as manufacturing output fell sharply.
  • At the end of her first term, there were many negative impacts on the country such that by 1986, unemployment had increased and reached more than three million according to a report released by Britannica.

Her Second Term as Prime Minister

As part of her winning back economy, Margaret Thatcher embarked with an ambitious program that helped in the privatization of public services and state-owned industries including television and radio, aerospace, water, gas and electricity, British steel, and the state airline. At the end of the 1980s, there was a triple of individual stockholders where the government had already sold more than 1.5 million of the public-owned houses.

  • During her first, she had started becoming unpopular because of the rising social tension and unemployment.
  • Unpopularity was to ensure her defeat in her next coming general election in 1983 but because of two factors she won: division within her Labour Party and the 1982 Falkland Islands War between Argentina and Britain.
  • Thatcher did win during the election and at a landslide which was the biggest win for the party since its success in 1945. She garnered a parliamentary majority with 42% of the total votes.
  • As she entered the office, she aimed to curb the power within the unions that had brought the country into a standstill during the strike of 1978 – 1979.
  • As a leader of the government, she enacted some series of measures that were designed to undermine the unions. Some of the laws banned were for unions to poll all the members before undertaking a strike, open-closed shops, and then rendered union for the damages brought by members.

Margaret Thatcher won 3rd consecutive term on 11th June 1987

Margaret Thatcher won 3rd consecutive term

According to Gulf News, Thatcher did win a third term on 11th June 1987. It was a historical record as she swept another straight term as a Prime Minister.

  • Her party, Conservative Party won 332 parliamentary seats, the Alliance had 14 and Labour Party 219. Therefore, Margaret Thatcher did capture a decisive victory that appeared on a bigger margin than everyone expected.
  • Having the most votes counted, the campaign manager said he thought they were to lose because they had started at a low base – Bryan Gould.
  • Although Margaret Thatcher recaptured her parliamentary seat in Finchley constituency, when she gave her speech to thank the officials at a local vote-counting station, a small group did heckle her.

Achievements of Margaret Thatcher

  • In 1970, after Margaret Thatcher became secretary of state, she was the privy councilor. During that time, she was also the first woman who was entitled to a full membership right after becoming Carlton Club’s honorary member and it was after being the Conservative Party leader in 1975.
  • When Thatcher served as prime minister, she did receive two honorary distinctions.
  • The first was Honorary Fellowship which was awarded on 24th October 1979 at the Royal Institute of Chemistry.
  • Two weeks after Margaret Thatcher resigned, she was appointed to become an Order of Merit (OM) member by the queen. At the same time, Denis, her husband was also appointed as a hereditary baronet. Therefore, Thatcher was entitled to using the honorific style “lady” which was an automatic conferred title, but she did decline using it.

The Final Thought

Margaret Thatcher, famously known as “Iron lady” was a great leader who lost her life as an icon in society. Many people uttered tearful remembrances including former USA president Barack Obama and the press all over the world. Thousands also walked in the streets of the UK as they celebrated a well-lived life of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. However, not all people loved her, because others described her as beneath all human decency, horrible, and tasteless according to a report from The Nation, but most people did praise her.

It was a great achievement in how she revived the economy of Britain. Do you also think that most governments should follow her steps?

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