Meet Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher she practiced politics and became the first woman to rule the United Kingdom. It was known as “The woman of iron” for his rigorous temper at the time of making and applying state decisions.

The exercise of its power in the second half of the 20th century left its mark on the history of the United Kingdom and the world.

His life begins on October 13, 1925, in a small village located east of England. She was the second daughter of the marriage of Methodists Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. His childhood was spent in Grantham, where her parents worked tending two grocery stores.

He made his first formal studies at a local school. Then, in 1943, he was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry at the Somerville College, located in Oxford where he moved. He obtained his degree in chemistry and specialized in X-ray crystallography; his tutor was Dorothy Hodgkin who in 1964 won the Nobel Prize.

The first years in the life of Margaret Thatcher they were significant in shaping his conservative political thought. Her father held public office and frequently spoke with her about the relevant events of those years. At Oxford she was elected president of the Conservative Student Association; That position put her in contact with well-known politicians of the time.

Handling herself in this area placed her in front of her first electoral challenges. In 1950 and 1951 she was a Conservative Party candidate for Dartford. Although he lost both elections, he gained experience in the campaigns carried out and met Denis Thatcher her future husband and father of her two twin sons.

First steps in your political career

He continued his studies and obtained a law degree and a specialization in Tax Law. With these titles up her sleeve, she continued to work on her political career and in 1959 she was elected Member of the English Parliament by the Conservative Party.

Then he came to hold the position of Minister of Education and Science. The appointment came about thanks to the fact that his political mentor won the elections held in 1970. Thatcher was in charge of this ministerial portfolio until 1975.

Her tenure as minister focused on reducing spending. To achieve this, he took measures such as eliminating the free glass of school milk for school children. Decisions like that were questioned by the ordinary citizen and the press. The media even dubbed her the “Milk Stealer.”

Despite these controversies, in 1975 Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead the Conservative Party. As a leader, he knew how to take advantage of the pitfalls that were presented to his adversary, Labor Party.

He spoke with confidence and strength to the voters. He promised to reduce the power of the unions. In the general elections of 1979, she became Prime Minister.

Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister

“The Iron Lady” began her tenure with determination and character. The climate of national defeatism and the consequences of a long period of economic decline awaited her in her first term. He immediately put in place measures to remedy the situation.

His policies were based on a program designed in 1945 by Conservatives and Labor. The points of that plan were a mixture of the following strategies:

  • Free markets
  • Monetary and budgetary discipline
  • Privatizations
  • Limit the labor movement
  • Reduce and limit the functions of the state
  • Victorian values
  • National proud

The policies framed in this plan were considered unpopular. Thatcher was classified as liberal and accused of being part of a movement made up of the governments of Austria, the United States and New Zealand. Back then, it was common to hear about “thatcherism“Or” reaganomania. ”

Long-term the policies of “The Iron Lady” they achieved the recovery of the economy. But, at that historical moment, support for the re-election of Margaret Thatcher stemmed from his decision to invade Falkland Islands, in April 1982.

The reconquest of this territory through the military action that became known as the Malvinas War and the crisis of the Labor Party, helped his re-election. It is in this period that he fulfilled his electoral promise to reduce union power.

Re-election as Prime Minister

In 1984 the mining unions called a general strike that lasted one year. They opposed a series of reforms proposed by the government, launched in the early 1980s. Despite their fierce struggle that at times had violent overtones, the workers returned to work and the Thatcher-led government continued with the changes in labor legislation that had been proposed.

Another important event that occurred during the Margaret Thatcher’s second term, was the attack against him on October 12, 1984. The Irish Republican Army, IRA, detonated a bomb in the hotel where the annual conference of the Conservative Party. Although Thatcher was unharmed, members close to her cabinet were seriously injured and killed.

The second government of Margaret Thatcher was also characterized by carrying out the sale of state assets, the signing of international agreements and the expansion of economic liberation policies.

Margaret Thatcher’s third term

In 1987 Margaret Thatcher was re-elected for a third term as Prime Minister. But this time he managed to win by a narrow margin of votes. Among the most outstanding events of the third administration of “La Dama de Hierro”, highlights the application of an economic measure called “Poll tax”.

The “Poll tax” was a tax that obliged citizens to make their contribution equally, regardless of their income level or area of ​​residence. The tribute caused such controversy that in the streets there were strong and violent demonstrations against the tax measure. For the application of this tax, Margaret Thatcher even took on her own party. But he could not fight for long against this storm.

She got tired of fighting and resigned on November 22, 1990. Sources indicate that she made her decision based on the loving advice of her husband, who reportedly told her: “Don’t go on, love.”

In her retirement condition, the Iron Lady wrote two books: “The Downing Street Years” (1993) and “The path to power” (1995). In 2002 he retired from public life due to health problems that became more serious in 2008. He died in London on April 8, 2013 at the age of 87.

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