A decade without the Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher

The leader of the Conservative Party, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1979 and 1990, died at the age of 87 due to a stroke at the Ritz Hotel in London.

The Iron Lady, as she was dubbed by the Soviet press for her staunch anti-communist stance, was once the most powerful person in the UK, but her origins lie a bit further from the elite to which she later belonged. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, England. The family, middle class and Methodist, ran a grocery business on which was the floor where the president and her sister grew up.

Perhaps inspired by her father, who was a councilor and later mayor, Thatcher showed an interest in politics. In 1943 she entered Oxford to study Chemistry where she became the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association.

Upon graduation four years later, she worked as a research chemist while preparing for law school on the time she was taking. In the mid-fifties she made the leap into law, specializing in tax law. A year earlier, in 1953, she had become the mother of twins with her husband, a wealthy man named Denis Thatcher, whom she had married in 1951.

In 1950 she ran as a Conservative candidate for Parliament without success. A year later he tried again, also without the expected result. It took eight years for Thatcher to finally sit in the chamber, and she was elected as a member of parliament in 1959.

“I think it’s more difficult. It is certainly more difficult for a woman with a young family because people say ‘but you can’t leave your house,’” the Iron Lady told a boy who asked her in a television interview if it was more difficult for a woman to dedicate herself. to politics. “I was lucky. My home was in London, the constituency I represent is in Greater London, so when my children were six years old I was able to think ‘well, I’ll try to get to Parliament’. And I did it and successfully. But he was always home every night,” she assured.


During the first four years of the 1970s, Thatcher was minister of education. After these four years in power, the Conservatives lost the elections and a year later, she was elected party leader and for the next four years she led the opposition. In 1979, the Tories returned to power at the hands of her. Thatcher waved from the door of number 10 Downing Street as the prime minister in Europe.

“Very excited. Very aware of responsibilities”he told a BBC journalist who asked him how he felt. “Her Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new administration and I have agreed. It is of course the greatest honor that any citizen in a democracy can have. I am well aware of the responsibilities that await me when I cross the door of number ten and I will strive tirelessly to live up to the trust the British people have placed in me and the things I believe in.”

During her first term, Thatcher pushed a savage economic policy. It reduced State intervention in the economy, allowed the privatization of companies and the sale of public housing to tenants, lowered the maximum rate of income tax, raised VAT and cut spending on public and social services and closed loss-making companies, among others. measures.

By the end of his first four years in government, UK unemployment had doubled. However, and despite Thatcher’s lack of popularity, she this she won her second consecutive election in 1982, marked by the conflict with Argentina over the Maldives and the internal problems of the Labor Party.

After this second term, which lasted from 1983 to 1987, Thatcher returned to run and win the elections. The introduction of a poll tax, met with protests in the street, and her position on European integration opened a front within the party.

In November 1990, former Secretary of State for Defense Michael Haseltine challenged him for the leadership of the party. She did win, but by a margin that required a second vote. Faced with friendly fire and her loss of support, on the 22nd of that same month, after eleven years in power, she announced her resignation as leader of the formation and as prime minister. In 1992 she entered the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher.

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