Margaret Roberts was born in Grantham, England on October 13, 1925. Her father was a grocery store owner. Margaret learned early on about politics from her father Alfred who later served as the Mayor of Grantham. Margaret attended Oxford University where she studied Chemistry.
While attending Oxford, Margaret became interested in politics. She became a strong believer in a conservative government where the government has a limited amount of intervention in business. She served as president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry in 1947 she got a job working as a chemist.
Thatcher became Prime Minister on May 4, 1979. She held the top position in the United Kingdom for over 10 years. Margaret Thatcher became one of the world's most *influential and respected political leaders, as well as one of the most controversial.
Prime Minister Thatcher *implemented a number of changes at the start of her term including *privatization, union reform, increased interest rates, and changes in taxes. At first, things did not go well, but after a few years the economy began to improve due to these changes.
One of the most important events during Thatcher's term was the Falkland War. On April 2, 1982 Argentina invaded the British Falkland Islands. Thatcher quickly sent British troops to retake the island. Although it was a difficult task, the British armed forces were able to take back the Falklands in a few short months and on June 14, 1982 the Islands were once again under British control. She was very popular both at home and in the Falkland islands for her decision.
Margaret played an important role in the Cold War between US and Soviet Union. She was extremely against *communism but worked with President Reagan of the United States and Michael Gorbechev of the Soviet Union to end the tension between the two countries. It was during her leadership that the Cold War effectively came to an end.
Margaret Thatcher felt strongly about Privatization. She moved some government run industries such as utilities into private ownership. In general, this helped as prices for goods came down over time.
On November 28, 1990 Thatcher *resigned from office under pressure from the conservatives that her policies on taxes were going to hurt them in the coming elections.
After retiring, Margaret Thatcher was given the title of a Baroness in 1992. The title of Baroness is very prestigious and is not given to anyone outside of the Royal family! It is a remarkable honor that she was given this title by the *monarchy.
Life after Being Prime Minister
Margaret continued to serve as a Member of Parliament until 1992 when she retired. She remained active in politics, wrote several books, and gave speeches for the next 10 years. In 2003 her husband Denis died and she suffered a number of small strokes. Since then, she has not been involved in public life.
Interesting Facts about Margaret Thatcher
- While Secretary of Education she ended a free milk program in the schools. She was known for a time as "Thatcher, the milk *snatcher".
- A *journalist from the Soviet Union even nicknamed her the “Iron Lady”; a name that stuck due to her strong style of leadership and politics.
- She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the United States.
Communism - Communism is a type of government and philosophy. Its goal is to form a society where everything is shared equally. All people are treated equally and there is little private ownership. In a communist government, the government owns and controls most everything including property, means of production, education, transportation, and agriculture.
Prominence - The state of being important or famous.
Implemented - Put into effect
Privatization - Changing something from state to private ownership or control
Influential - Powerful
Resign - Quit
Journalist - Reporter
Monarchy - A form of government run by kings and queens