Margaret Thatcher (Author of The Downing Street Years)Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first and to date only woman to hold either post.
Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, England, she went on to read Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford. She was selected as Conservative candidate for Finchley in 1958 and took her seat in the House of Commons the following year. Upon the election of Edward Heath in 1970, Thatcher was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science. In 1974, she backed Sir Keith Joseph for the Conservative party leader, but after falling short he dropped out of the race. Thatcher entered herself and became leader of the Conservative party in 1975. Among other things, she defiantly opposed the Soviet Union, and her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the Iron Lady. As the Conservative party maintained leads in most polls, Thatcher went on to become Britains Prime Minister in the 1979 General Election.
Thatchers tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and was the longest continuous period in office since the tenure of Lord Liverpool who was Prime Minister in the early 19th century. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the UK, and the first of only three women to have held any of the four great offices of state. After her resignation, she was ennobled as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. During her tenure as Prime Minister she was said to need just four hours sleep a night.
Margaret Thatcher: A biography
Margaret Thatcher was born in the small Lincolnshire market town of Grantham in October , the second daughter of Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Her parents owned and ran a grocery. They were strong Methodists and Thatcher's early life was shaped by the church and the society of its small congregation: she grew up in a strong and watchful community, a place of duty, order, unsparing honesty, and charitable giving. He had been brought up a Liberal and though an opponent of the local Labour Party, he never publicly described himself as a Conservative. He read widely and seriously, acquiring a great store of political knowledge: his daughter later joked that while Chancellors of the Exchequer and Treasury officials often talked to her about the Bank of England's "fiduciary issue", her father was the only man she had ever met who could actually define the term. From a local state school Thatcher won a place to read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied between and
She epitomised a particular school of right-wing politics: Thatcherism — laissez-faire economics and individual self-determination. Even after her death, she remains a controversial figure. Some see her as having saved Britain from economic decline, others believe she destroyed the livelihoods of millions of workers. Yet this powerful woman began her life in a quiet market town. Margaret Thatcher talks about her upbringing in Grantham. Panorama BBC One, Margaret Thatcher was born Margaret Roberts in
Before becoming prime minister, she was a politician at lower levels and a research chemist. Born Margaret Hilda Roberts to a solidly middle-class family—neither rich nor poor—in the small town of Grantham, noted for manufacturing railroad equipment. Margaret's father Alfred Roberts was a grocer and her mother Beatrice a homemaker and dressmaker. Alfred Roberts had left school to support his family. Margaret had one sibling, an older sister Muriel, born in The family lived in a 3-story brick building, with the grocery on the first floor.
The daughter of Alfred Roberts, a grocer and local alderman and later mayor of Grantham , and Beatrice Ethel Stephenson, Thatcher formed an early desire to be a politician. Her intellectual ability led her to the University of Oxford , where she studied chemistry and was immediately active in politics, becoming one of the first woman presidents of the Oxford University Conservative Association. After graduating in she worked for four years as a research chemist, reading for the bar in her spare time. From she practiced as a barrister , specializing in tax law. In she married a wealthy industrialist, Denis Thatcher b.
Margaret Thatcher's political career has been one of the most remarkable of modern times. Born in October at Grantham, a small market town in eastern England, she rose to become the first and for two decades the only woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive General Elections and served as British Prime Minister for more than eleven years , a record unmatched in the twentieth century. During her term of office she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy. She challenged and did much to overturn the psychology of decline which had become rooted in Britain since the Second World War, pursuing national recovery with striking energy and determination. In the process, Margaret Thatcher became one of the founders, with Ronald Reagan, of a school of conservative conviction politics, which has had a powerful and enduring impact on politics in Britain and the United States and earned her a higher international profile than any British politician since Winston Churchill. By successfully shifting British economic and foreign policy to the right, her governments helped to encourage wider international trends which broadened and deepened during the s and s, as the end of the Cold War, the spread of democracy, and the growth of free markets strengthened political and economic freedom in every continent.