Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female Prime Minister and is regarded today as one of the most important political figures of the 20th century. The daughter of a grocer, she was born Margaret Hilda Roberts on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire. After she graduated from Oxford University, Margaret’s eye was clearly on politics; she first served as a member of parliament in 1959. A member of the Conservative Party, Thatcher held multiple government positions, including Education Secretary. Shocking those who vowed that a woman could never rise to political power in Britain, Thatcher became Prime Minister in May 1979. She served three consecutive terms, making her mark on the political stage.
As Prime Minister, Thatcher established herself as an active and authoritative political force. Her mission was to protect the autonomy of individuals and limit the powers of the state. She became known for her role in privatizing aspects of Britain’s government, for reducing social services and for restricting labor unions. “Thatcherism” was the term used to describe these policies, many of which were met with protest even as she vowed that her economic policies would allow the Britain to thrive. Thatcher stood firmly with the U.S. against Communism, earning her the nickname "Iron Lady" from the Soviets. She became known as a bold, uncompromising figure; she is remembered as one of the most important leaders in modern history. She died on April 8th 2013 at age 87.