Look into the Interesting and Inspirational Life of Margaret Thatcher

Category : Technology
Posted By : AmnaAnees
Posted Date : 07 Jun 2020 16:38 hrs

This read will be a special treat for anyone interested in taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher to learn about leadership, resilience, hard work, and determination.
Let's get started right away!
Who is Margaret Thatcher?
Margaret Thatcher served as British prime minister for more than eleven years. She won three consecutive General Elections and was Europe's first woman prime minister. She held office from 1979 to 1990. The time she resigned from the office, Margaret Thatcher was Britain's longest-serving prime minister since 1827 who held the office continuously. In addition to being the first female European prime minister, she remained the only female European leader for two decades. Margaret Thatcher was a person of passion, and with her extraordinary leadership skills, political conviction, striking energy, utmost determination, and moral strength, she revolutionized the British economy, foreign policy, and several other institutions. Both, with respect to the political achievements, and unnerving leadership skills, Margaret Thatcher is as renowned in the British political scenario as Winston Churchill. Everyone who is taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher and is a tad bit interested in the global political scenario surely understands and admire the outstanding stature of Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher was not just a political personality but was a political phenomenon. She was and still, her memory is the true definition determination, will power, diligence, and persistence.
Early Life
Known by Margaret Thatcher, in full Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, née Margaret Hilda Roberts, was born on October 13, 1925, in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England to Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Roberts's family keenly followed traditions including personal truthfulness, self-help, charitable work, and conviction; and had a strong social life with the local community. The family ran a local grocery business and lived in a small flat on top of the shop.
Margaret Thatcher attended a nearby state school and with hard work and her natural skills, she won herself a place in one of the topmost universities of the world, University of Oxford. Thatcher studied Chemistry at Somerville College there from 1943 to 1947. There, she learned a great deal from her remarkable teacher, Dorothy Hodgkin, who won the Nobel Prize in 1964 for the development of an advanced technique of X-ray crystallography. Thatcher's strong critical thinking and scientific training were strongly influenced by Dorothy Hodgkin. However, Thatcher's mental abilities were tilted more towards Politics and less towards Chemistry.
Conservative politics had always remained an integral part of her upbringing. She brilliantly showcased her political capabilities in the college as she became one of the first woman presidents of the Oxford University Conservative Association. This was the time when in the General Election of 1945, the Conservative party was defeated by Labor party. She made herself prominent before the leadership of the party with her incredible skill set.
Candidacy for Dartford
As the youngest female candidate, Margret Thatcher won national publicity and admiration when she contests the General Elections of 1950 and 1951. She contested as the Conservative candidate against the strongly held labor seat of Dartford. Though she lost both times, however, she enjoyed her experience of campaigning. These elections sharpen her political abilities and matured her campaigning style. Unlike many other Conservative candidates, she spoke with confidence and with ease about the core issues that mattered to the voters the most.
Early Career and Getting Married
After completing her graduation in 1947 she worked as a research chemist. Then after four years of working there, she practiced as a barrister in 1954, specializing in taxation law. And she proved to be great in her duties. She remarkably compared the capitalist theory of America and Europe by saying, “There are significant differences between the American and European versions of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes, and maximum labor-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.”
While taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher, one gets to see a strong and wholesome woman. In her determination to live professionally strong and independently proficient life, she held her personal and family life as an essential part of her life. She married in 1951 with Denis Thatcher, who was an industrialist. Denis Thatcher supported her resilience and political ambitions all her life. The couple welcomed twins, daughter Carol and son Mark, in 1953. Margaret Thatcher was a loving and kind mother and wife, however, she ought to achieve professional success as well. As she said, “Of course, to be a mother and a housewife is a vocation of a very high kind. But I simply felt that it was not the whole of my vocation. I knew that I also wanted a career. A phrase that Irene Ward, MP for Tynemouth, and I often used was that ‘while the home must always be the center of one’s life, it should not be the boundary of one’s ambitions’.” And she surely proved herself one of the greatest political leaders in the world.
Becoming Member of the Parliament
Margret Thatcher first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in 1959 for Finchley. Finchley was North London constituency and was considered a "safe" seat for the Conservative party. She represented the constituency of Finchley till 1992 as in that year she became a member of the House of Lords and became Baroness Thatcher. While working on different positions in the Parliament, Thatcher steadily rose within the party. She served as a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance from 1964 to 1964. For a year, from 1969 to 1970, Thatcher served as chief opposition spokesman on education. And in the Conservative government of Sir Edward Heath, Thatcher served as secretary of state for education and science from 1970 to 1974. In this Conservative government, Thatcher was the only second woman elected to hold the position in the cabinet.
She had a challenging path as the Education Minister as the student radicalism and British politics, both were at its sheer peak in the 1970s. Opposition, press, and protestors were brutal in this period.
Another interesting thing that happened during her tenure in the Heath government was that she eliminated a special program that ensured the provision of milk, free of cost, to all the schoolchildren. This action prompted the opposition party as they start chanting "Thatcher the milk snatcher".
Overall, the Heath government disappointed many and left Britain under inflation, turmoil, and industrial strife. However, Thatcher had mastered the art of politics by then and all such difficult experiences had made her resilient, strong, and determined. As she once said, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” And,  “I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.” She had truly developed the nerves of steel by then which proved to be immensely helpful for her in the coming years. 
Becoming Conservative Leader
In 1974, Sir Edward Heath lost two consecutive General Elections which made his position quite weak at the party. Though Thatcher did not hold a much prominent position in the party, still she was the only minister who was well prepared to lead the party. With the support of the right-wing of the Conservative party, Thatcher got elected as the leader in February 1975. This came as a pleasant surprise to her. And with that, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman ever to become a leader of a Western political party and at the same time serving as the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. With that began the era which was going to change the face of British political history.
Serving as the Leader of the Opposition
Term of Labor Government from 1974 to 1979 proved to be one of the most difficult economic periods in British history. In this period Britain faced an unusual position of virtual bankruptcy that led to a collapse in the value of British currency in the foreign exchange. To deal with such a grim situation, the government had to negotiate for the credit from the International Monetary Fund- IMF. IMF imposed tight terms with the provision of funds. However, the party seemed to be well accepted among the general public until the Summers of 1978.
But then the gear shifted in the winter of 1979, as Trade union pay demands erupted strikes all over the country. This period was regarded as the Winter of Discontent". The Public's point of view changed in favor of the Conservative party, and thus at the General Election of May 1979, the public elected majority of Conservative Partilmatarians, and the next day, Britain had Margaret Thatcher as the Prime Minister of United Kingdom.
First Term as Prime Minister
Thatcher was sure that Britain would not see any female at any highest political position anywhere near, as she said in an interview, “No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.” But she surely proved herself wrong. Margaret Thatcher's first term encompasses the tough period of Britain History, 1979 to 1983. Her moral values and strong leadership skills proved to be the backbone of her success, as she said, “It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.” Margaret Thatcher got elected amid economic turmoil, and she had to reverse this declining situation. She took difficultly, yet many necessary steps to go through this painful period.
Her cabinet represented the energetic lot of right-wing Conservative members who later called themselves "Dries" in response to what old-styled called themselves "Wets".
Margaret Thatcher put an end to the excessive influence of the government on various aspects of economic control.  She advocated that “Every family should have the right to spend their money, after-tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.” This included a reduction in the social welfare programs such as education, housing, and healthcare, privatization of state-owned companies, sale of public housing, the decline in the printing of money, and restrictions on the trade unions as defined by law. She privatized aerospace, radio, gas, electricity, television, water, British Steel, and state airline. 
Moreover, by the end of the 1980s, more than 1.5 million state-owned housing units were also sold to their tenants. Still, the unemployment rose with each passing day and that increased her unpopularity among the masses.
In Margaret Thatcher's first term, Britain had more than three million unemployed people, and it only started to decrease in 1986. However, with the necessary actions taken by the Thatcher's government economic recovery soon started in the coming eight years.
In the budget of 1981, the government increased taxes at the lowest recession point. This step was against Keynesian economics but proved to be beneficial for the county's overall economic growth. She described her policies by saying, “My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.” With the application of these policies, in the same quarter, the economy of the country started raising at a reasonably normal pace.
Taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher makes you realize that her first term's main issue was the stabilization of the economy. She had inherited a weak economy but managed to pass through efficiently. Nonetheless, she was equally unpopular in the general public because of the issue of unemployment.
However, the incident of the Falkland Island War in 1982 proved to be a winning point for her in the next General Elections. The war between Argentina and Britain that started with the invasion of Argentina's Junta in April of 1982 brilliantly depicted the leadership skills of Thatcher in difficult times. On one hand, Thatcher started approaching the US administration to opt for a diplomatic solution of this incident, and on the other hand, she protected the sovereignty of Britain by dispatching the British Military Task Force for the possession of the islands. Though diplomatic efforts were not proved fruitful, quick military actions successfully took the hold of Falklands under the British control in 1982. This success in war and divisions within the Labor party won Thatcher her next term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This time Margaret Thatcher won the majority of Parliament with 144 seats.
Second Term as Prime Minister
In the late '80s, Thatcher started strengthening Britain's foreign policy. Thatcher had to face many difficulties in this term as well. One of the most terrible things that happened in 1984 was when the National Union of Mineworkers went on a nationwide strike against the government's plan of closing twenty coal mines as they were not productive. The strike went on for a tear. But Thatcher didn't approve any of the Union's demands. This proved that Thatcher's reforms would stay and she would not move an inch.
As the strike was going on, the Irish Republican Army tried to murder Thatcher and her numerous cabinet members by bombing at a hotel during the annual Conservative party conference. Fortunately, Thatcher was unharmed but she lost many of her cabinet members, and many were severely injured.
Thatcher proved her remarkable aura in foreign policy. Thatcher and Regan together portrayed the era of conservatism in which they proved the Soviet Union as the evil party giving a stable rise to the Cold War until the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev in the year 1985.
Third Term as Prime Minister
In a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher, one can't help but notice her resilience until her last working day in the office. She fought hard and well in every situation.
Margaret Thatcher's third term was among the most progressive period in British history. In this period, Britain reformed its education system by introducing new and advanced curriculum applied new taxation system and legislation for the service providers and purchasers in the National Health Services.
By late 1990, the Cold War ended and France renewed the project of a single currency for Europe. Amidst all this, Sir Geoffrey Howe resigned from Europe on November 1, 1990, and challenged Margaret Thatcher's government in her farewell speech. Conservative party started doubting Margaret Thatcher's win in the next election and started contesting for new party leaders. Seeing the deep tension within the party, she resigned from the post of Prime Minister on November 28, 1990. 
Strong Leadership Style of Margret Thatcher
One of the most obvious things that you experience when taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher is her leadership style. She was named "Iron Lady" by a Soviet journalist because of her uncompromising leadership style and determined approach. To this Margret Thatcher said, “Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady.” Margret Thatcher was equally popular and unpopular among the masses, and that was because of her unusual, and daring leadership style. She once said, “If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.” And she surely proved herself capable of running a strong country like the United Kingdom.
Some exceptional quotes by Margaret Thatcher
When you take a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher, you get to know loads of great things about Thatcher. Here are some of the most inspirational quotes by Margaret Thatcher.
•    “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”
•    “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”
•    “The truths of the Judaic-Christian tradition, are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace, in the true meaning of the word, for which we all long. . . . There is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.”
•    “Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.”
•    “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become… habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.”
•    “Whether manufactured by black, white, brown or yellow hands, a widget remains a widget – and it will be bought anywhere if the price and quality are right. The market is a more powerful and more reliable liberating force than the government can ever be.”

There you go! We hope that you must have liked taking a look into the interesting and inspirational life of Margaret Thatcher. And her exceptionally led life must have inspired you to achieve greater things in your life as well.

Related Blogs


No comments to show

You may also like...