"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Margaret Hilda Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher's overwhelming sense of self-confidence and
ambition ruled her life from the time she was a small child in Grantham, though
her Oxford years and during her early years in politics. It led her to become
the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain, and also helped through her
difficult political years as "Attila the Hun".
Britain's first female Prime Minister was born on October 13, 1925 in a
small room over a grocer's shop in Grandham, England. Margaret Hilda was the
second daughter of Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. She often stated that she was
brought up very strictly:
I owe everything in my life to two things: a good home, and a good education.
My home was ordinary, but good in the sense that my parents were passionately
interested in the future of my sister and myself. At the same time, they gave
us a good education - not only in school, but at home as well (Gardiner, 1975,
As a child, thrift and practicality were instilled in Margaret's
character. The Methodist church played an active part in the lives of the
Roberts. She attended good schools as a child and spent her years studying with
the intent of attending Oxford. Margaret arrived at Oxford in the autumn of
1943. During her years here, Margaret worked in a canteen for the war effort,
continued her interest in music by joining various choirs and joined the Oxford
University Conservative Association where she became very active in it's
After Oxford, Margaret became the youngest female candidate of the
Dartford Association. She was unofficially engaged to Denis Thatcher at this
time, and they married in December 1951. Twins were born the following year.
During this period, she studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1954. In the
same year she was a candidate for the Oysington Conservative Association.
Margaret won in a Tory landslide at Finchley, a suburb of London in 1959.
Her parliamentary career had begun. A stroke of good luck gave her the
opportunity of presenting her first bill almost immediately. This bill was to
allow the press to attend the meetings of the local councils. The bill was
eventually passed and it greatly enhanced her reputation. In 1964 she was part
of the opposition and saw the other side of politics. Between 1970 and 1974
Thatcher was the Secretary of State for Education and Science. She enjoyed the
tough verbal conflict of parliamentary debates. She had a quick mind and an
even quicker tongue, along with an enormous self-confidence. She liked to fight
and liked to win.
In 1975, the Conservatives were the first party in Britain to chose a
woman as leader and potential Prime Minister:
It was the backbenchers, not the Leader, or his Shadow Cabinet, who forced a
ballot, and it was a backbenchers- candidate who emerged triumphant from it.
When the election was announced on January 23, and in the first ballot Margaret
had the support of only one member of a Shadow Cabinet of 23 she was regarded
with suspicion by most of those managing the party machine at Central Office,
and opposed by many in the National Union. In short, she was an anti-
establishment candidate. Her campaign manager was a backbencher, backbenchers
of varying shades of opinion made up her campaign committee who voted decisively
for change(Gardiner, 1975, p.204).
In May 1979, Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of Great
Britain. Her party won again in 1983 and 1987. Thatcher resigned as Prime
Minister and leader of the Conservative Party in November 1990, after loosing
the support of the party. She remained in the House of Commons until 1992. In
the same year, Thatcher was made a Baroness by the queen and became a member of
the House of Lords.
Abse, author of "Margaret daughter of Beatrice" paints an entirely
different picture of Thatcher's family background. In his psycho-biography, he
describes Margaret's mother as strict, cold and unloving. He states that this
resulted in her being narcissistic, aggressive, and a workaholic, as well as
being attracted to money. Thatcher has claimed to owe everything to her father,
and at no point does she acknowledge her mother's contribution. Abse also
claims that Thatcher is chronically and traumatically frustrated, and that she
went into politics for recognition and gratification. Fellow politicians were
not enamored of Thatcher, especially after she ended a ?8 million a year free
milk program for primary school children while Secretary of State for Education.
He says: the public subliminally sensed she was acting out the role of a
depriving mother, as indeed she was, and reacted with fury. ?Thatcher, milk
snatcher' rang out at almost everyone of her public meetings and, in the
View Full Essay
Margaret Thatcher, Leaders of the Conservative Party, Members of the Order of the British Empire, Conservatism in the United Kingdom, The Heritage Foundation, Denis Thatcher, Conservative Party, Margaret, Premiership of Margaret Thatcher, Leo Abse, margaret hilda thatcher, prime minister of great britain, denis thatcher, thatcher margaret, grandham, parliamentary career, conservative association, female candidate, oxford university, good education, overwhelming sense, self confidence, war effort, grantham, practicality, grocer, choirs, canteen, gardiner, landslide
More Free Essays Like This