The Thatcher Years This essay is about the charismatic leader that took Britain by storm for over ten years and managed to crush the corrupt powers of the trade unions with her iron fist.

Essay by mdwolmanHigh School, 12th gradeA-, January 2003

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In 1979 Margaret Thatcher took over from James Callaghan as Prime Minister. On being appointed she appealled, in the words of Francis of Assisi for help in bringing harmony when there is discord. For the next eleven years Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister winning an incredible three general elections. During this time, though, her style was anything but harmonious. This style and the policies that came to be associated with them came to be known as Thatcherism.

There are several identifiable aspects of Thatcherism which helped her and her government stay in power for so long and improve the United Kingdom so immeasurably.

Throughout the 1970s Britain had been subjected to a series of damaging strikes and terrific inflation. The Tories 1979 manifesto pledged to encourage private enterprise, lower taxes and restore power to the individual. What Thatcherism was promising at the end of the Seventies was the formula for renewed economic success in Britain through reinvigoration of the supply side of the economy.

The high inflation crisis in Britain's economy was gradually defeated under the Thatcher government. In 1978, domestic production in the U.K. only grew by 1% while consumer spending went up by 5%.An unacceptably high level of inflation resulted. In the early years, the Thatcher government committed itself to gradual reductions in the money supply and increases in various taxes to quell inflation. These policies were monetarist. Monetarism was a policy Thatcher believed in which distinguishes her from previous governments. The Tories soon earned the reputation as honest and effective inflation-fighters. As the British economy was recovering from recession in 1983, inflation fell form 20% to 4%, the lowest level in 13 years- largely as a result of these monetarist policies.

During its years in power, the Thatcher government managed to weaken the stranglehold labour unions...