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Margaret Thatcher Biography Report

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2020

Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925, in Grantham, England, as Margaret Hilda Roberts (Garnett 172). Her father was a local businessman, dealing in grocery. She received her early education at Grantham Girls High School. Later, she joined Somerville College of Oxford University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (Chemistry) in 1947. She started her career as a Research Chemist in Colchester and was later transferred to Dartford. She studied law between 1952 and 1953 and became a lawyer.

Margaret and Denis Thatcher married in 1951. The couple got twins, Carol and Mark, in 1953 (Garnett 175). Margaret maintained a good balance between her political ambitions and family needs as the two required her constant attention.

It was her father who introduced conservative politics to her at an early age (Garnett 175). Her father was involved in politics at the level of the town council. In 1950, she made her entry into politics by seeking parliamentary representation for Dartford. She lost to join the Conservative Party, a fact that she acknowledged. Liberal Labor Party was strong, but she had anticipated a lot of support from the younger generation. She contested again in 1951 and lost again.

She became the Finchley representative at the House of Commons in 1959. Later, she served in the cabinet as an undersecretary. The undersecretary appointment was short lived as the Labor party won the elections. She had to bounce back as the Education and Science Secretary of State when the Conservative Party took over in 1970. She assumed the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1975. This was the victory that prepared the way for her to become the first woman to fill a post of prime minister in England in 1979 (Garnett 177).

Summary of Margaret Thatcher’s accomplishments

One of the major achievements of Margaret Thatcher is that of raising a stable family alongside a political career. It is common knowledge that people tend to shine politically at the expense of their families. In some of her documentaries, Margaret Thatcher is quoted saying that she personally did most of the household chores including cooking. This is a clear indication that politics never came between her and her family.

Her passion for doing what was right for the nation qualified her as a real stateswoman. Nothing could stop her from performing this role, not even intimidation by men in the political arena did. Her zeal is what gained her the title ‘Iron Lady’. This fact alone enabled her to turn challenges into opportunities. Nothing could stop her from achieving the set goals.

Thatcher will be remembered as the only woman who has ever made it to the premiership. Apart from being a woman, she made history by having become the longest-serving premier in recent times. On ascending to power, she faced the real challenge of a dying economy. The United Kingdom was on its knees economically. It is her radical changes that revived the economy. By the time she resigned from the premiership, the UK had regained her economic position in Europe.

Thatcher became the first leader from Europe and America to work with a communist leader (Hoover n.pag.). Despite being anti-communist, she focused on this philosophy for the benefit of her country.

Margaret Thatcher is also remembered for leading the country’s military during Argentina’s invasion in 1982. The army performed remarkably well, increasing the confidence that people had in her leadership (Gregory A1).

Margaret Thatcher’s importance in the history

Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the ‘Iron Lady’ formed an important part of history. Although no other woman has so far been elected to this position, she proved that it was not a reserve for men. It could well be noted that she achieved the position unexpectedly as nobody thought that the UK could get a lady premier. Becoming the longest-serving prime minister in the UK is also of great historical significance.

The change of career from a chemist to a lawyer makes one wonder about the kind of a person Margaret Thatcher was. She did her law studies while her family was quite young and her commitment towards achieving success was clear.

Margaret Thatcher was the only Prime Minister who was repeatedly elected and did not lose even once. AS she retired, her leaving the office was orchestrated by the frustrations that she received from her government. This had to do with her policies towards Europe.

Thatcher is remembered for her foreign policy that went beyond historical inclinations. She removed the cold feet that the West had for communism by agreeing to work with Mikhail Gorbachev (Hoover n. pag.). This became a clear indication that she was ready to accommodate political systems that were different from hers for the mutual benefit of the countries.

Thatcher had been instrumental in implementing radical changes to revive the economy long before she became the prime minister. For example, she banned the free milk scheme in public schools, while serving as Secretary for Education and Science. Thatcher worked well with the leaders who supported her political views but was ruthless to any opposition.

Personal evaluation of Margaret Thatcher

The Iron Lady was successful in many aspects of life. She had the resolve to conquer all the obstacles. Her upbringing by low-income parents did not deter her ambitions. She worked hard in school and finally made it to the University of Oxford. On graduating as a chemist, the young Margaret got employment, but somehow she realized her political calling. That is why she offered her candidature at the tender age of 25 years. Failing to capture the seat at the time did not break her heart. In any case, it encouraged her more to try again the following year. After these defeats, she opted to study law.

The leadership of Margaret Thatcher had various elements of dictatorship. This trait was evident long before while she served as the Secretary for Education. She banned the free milk program without consultations. She faced serious opposition and did not give her audience to listen to opposite views. This kind of attitude led to her resignation. Her stand on policies to do with Europe became unpopular in her government creating sharp divisions.

Margaret Thatcher was an independent thinker who did not blindly follow the other world leaders. This was manifested in her interest to work with a communist leader in a time when the West was flatly against it. She was not bothered about the views of other leaders when she decided to work with Gorbachev (Hoover n. pag.).

Thatcher was a good example of autocratic leadership particularly when it came to failed policies. Upon realization of the presence of rifts and hostility within her government, she resigned (Associated Press n. pag). Many leaders are not able to face such situations the way she did. Instead, they look for all kinds of solutions including restituting the government. For this aspect, Thatcher was indeed a courageous leader.

Works Cited

Associated Press. Milestones in the Life of Margaret Thatcher.” Associated Press. 2013: Time World. Web.

Garnett, Mark. “Banality in Politics: Margaret Thatcher and the Biographers.” Political Studies Review. 5.2(2007): 172-182. WILEY Online Library. Web.

Gregory, Joseph R. ““. The New York Times. 2013: A1. Web.

Hoover, Brittany. “Margaret Thatcher Remembered for Conviction, Strong Stance; Iron Lady was First Female Prime Minister, Considered Key Player in Fall of Communism.” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX) 2013: lubbockonline. Web.

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