What did Margaret Thatcher actually do?

I know I can look on Wikipedia etc to find my answer but I don't actually understand any of it because of the wording; I find it too complicated!

Can someone please just explain (in an easy-to-understand-way) what she did and why when she was in power?

I know she was VERY right wing and very much for the rich, she blew up the Belgrano and created difficulty with the miners, but that's pretty much it. I don't know the background behind any of it...

I asked my Mum about the Belgrano and she really wasn't sure (so don't get in a mood if it's wrong) but she mentioned something like, 'Thatcher told them not to cross the line because it was our territory - they did - so she blew them up' kind of thing...

So yeah - if anyone wouldn't mind explaining to me about Mags in an easy to understand way, that would be fab :)


7 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Margaret Thatcher was far more right-wing than any other prime minister in the 20th Century and she undertook a radical program of reform in Britain. When she became prime minister in 1979, Britain was doing poorly economically and was the 'sick man of Europe'. It was plagued by strikes and unions that had gotten too powerful. By the late-1970s, many in Britain had had enough of strikes, high inflation and not doing well that they were ready to give Margaret Thatcher a try.

    Margaret Thatcher cut taxes dramatically while she was prime minister. Before she became prime minister in 1979, the top tax rate was 98%; the bottom rate was 65%. By the time she left office in 1990, the top tax rate was only 40%; the bottom rate was 25%. Rich or poor, Margaret Thatcher's tax policies allowed you to keep much more of your own money.

    Margaret Thatcher took on and reformed the trade unions. She made secret ballots mandatory and banned secondary picketing as well as regular elections of union leaders. This meant far fewer strikes.

    Margaret Thatcher cut spending quite severely. She cut or eliminated a lot of the welfare state. Only a few programs such as the NHS and free education remained. She also ended government subsidies to industries. This meant that many industries which could not modernize or sell their goods folded. This led to high unemployment in the north of England. Margaret Thatcher's spending cuts freed up more money and resources to be invested in newer industries and start-up businesses.

    Margaret Thatcher privatized state-owned industries by selling shares at low prices. This meant that millions of Britons became the first in their family to own shares in a business. She also gave tenants in public housing the right to buy their homes. Many Britons became the first in their family to own their homes.

    Margaret Thatcher fought the Falklands War when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982. She sent down the Royal Navy which retook the islands. About the Belgrano, Britain had imposed a 200-mile exclusion zone around the Falklands. Although it had left the exclusion zone when it was sunk, it was too close to the Royal Navy for comfort.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    At a time when Harold Wilson went, cloth cap in hand, to the IMF to get a bail out, Margaret Thatcher transformed the UK economy and saved us from going bust. Read more on this, other politics and world affairs on my web site, given below, the news page gets daily updates.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    she sold off our state silver to foreign ownership, no other industrialised nation has done this. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams the French allowing their Paris Electricity company being owned by the British

    As far as strikes are concerned the one eyed previous comments should read up on history. Thatcher caused the miners strike, she baited the miners by closing down viable pits, you should recall that the miners were always told they had to compete economically with Nuclear energy, as history tells us the cost of closing down nuclear power stations runs into billions of pounds. this was excluded from the cost comparison at the time

    She shut down industry and left us totally reliant on German and French companies to supply our needs. She drove millions into poverty and hardship

    She was driven by personal greed as we see in her biography, She owned farms in Africa which held people in virtual slavery

    This is not a women we should admire she should be cast in the same light as all the evil despots that have gone before her

  • John D
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    She turned "the sick man of Europe" that was being blackmailed and bankrupted by left wing Unions, where we had power cuts and dead bodies piling up, into one of the most respected countries in the world. She made many mistakes along the way, the worst towards the end of her tenure, but overall the country was in far better shape when she left then what she inherited and far better then it is now.

    The Belgrano was sank during the Falklands War, the Argies invaded and we went down there and kicked their @rses, unfortunately when you have wars you have casualties.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    She did the following:

    - Transformed the British economy from a largely industrial economy to a more services based economy.

    - Lowered taxes.

    - Privatised many of the countries industries, such as the telecoms industry, railways, energy companies, etc.

    - Allowed people who lived in council houses to buy them.

    - Encouraged free markets and capitalism.

    - Sent a taskforce to the Falkland Islands when they were invaded, which then liberated them from the Argentine invasion.

    Opinion on Margaret Thatcher is divided. Personally, I admire her, but others despise her. There were winners and losers under her administration. But she undeniably transformed the British economy, and was a strong leader. She was notable for winning three elections in a row, and being the first female Prime Minister.

  • sherie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    No - and not something in her life will develop into her like the leaving it. i watch for examining the blood-spattered previous vampire's obituary. She made financial conflict on the British human beings, destroyed this us of a's key industries, placed homeless beggars lower back on the streets, lined up the homicide of dissidents, grew to become into narrowly prevented from launching ethnic cleansing interior the North of eire, and shares with Blair the excellence of being one in each of a handful of uk best Ministers to have committed treason in workplace.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I cannot put it better than Seumas Milne of the Guardian, a shortened version; "She destroyed communities; created mass unemployment; de-industrialised Britain; redistributed from poor to rich; and, by her deregulation of the City, laid the basis for the crisis that has engulfed us 25 years later.

    Not only in former mining communities and industrial areas laid waste by her government, but across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown.

    Thatcher was a prime minister who denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, defended the Chilean fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, ratcheted up the cold war, and unleashed militarised police on trade unionists and black communities alike. She was Britain's first woman prime minister, but her policies hit women hardest, like Cameron's today.

    Average growth in the Thatcherite 80s, at 2.4%, was exactly the same as in the sick 70s – and considerably lower than during the corporatist 60s. Her government's savage deflation destroyed a fifth of Britain's industrial base in two years, hollowed out manufacturing, and delivered a "productivity miracle" that never was, and we're living with the consequences today.

    What she did succeed in doing was to restore class privilege, boosting profitability while slashing employees' share of national income from 65% to 53% through her assault on unions. Britain faced a structural crisis in the 1970s, but there were multiple routes out of it. Thatcher imposed a neoliberal model now seen to have failed across the world.

    She was not a great leader, she was the most socially destructive prime minister of modern times."

    She made two significant contributions to poverty in the UK. She massively increased it, leaving at the end of the Conservative tenure one in three children living in households with less than half the average income (the official definition of poverty). She was responsible for doubling in the poverty rate. Britain's childhood-poverty rate in 1997 was the highest in Europe. Then she said it did not exist.

    She centralised power in Whitehall, taking powers particularly from local government (in some cases, as with the Greater London Council, abolishing it when it dissented)

    I could go on and on but I recon you get the idea by now.



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