The 'Thatcher Revolution' 1975-1990

HideShow resource information

Politics

Labour failures and why the Conservatives won 1979 election:

  • Continued economic problems - inflation, IMF loan of £3 billion 1976
  • Winter of Discontent 1978-9 - massive strikes actions including Grave Diggers
  • Rising unemployment - Conservatives campaign 'Labour isn't working'

The role of key personalities: Thatcher and her ministers; 

  • Thatcher - determined and unrelenting - not confident until after 1983 election 
  • Wets - those who didn't support Thatcher e.g. Michael Heseltine 
  • Dries - those who did support Thatcher e.g. Lawson and Howe

Internal divisions in the Labour Party and the formation of the SDP:

  • Left wing extremism in Labour, not controlled by Foot, Benn challenges Healey 
  • 'Gang of Four' form SDP 1981 - popular but lose to 'First past the post' 
  • Neil Kinnock repairs Labour after 1983, SDP lose ground  > Liberal Democrats

The reasons for the fall of Thatcher in 1990:

  • Thatcher increasingly 'strange' - royal behaviour, litter campaign
  • Anti-Poll Tax campaign - loses popular support, massive riots and protest
  • Refuses to get further involved in Europe - loses party support - turn on her 
1 of 5

Economy

Monetarist policies and their impact on the economy:

  • Monetarism = tight government spending, cut taxes > recession
  • Unemployment rising, high inflation, industry collapsing 
  • Thatcher inceasingly unpopular - refuses to make U-turn - saved by oil 

The extent to which the economy had been transformed by 1990

  • Privatisation - 'share-owning democracy' and deregulation - 'Big Bang' 1968
  • Consumer and credit boom - massive spending
  • Gap between rich and poor increases dramatically 
2 of 5

Society

The social impact of Thatcherism, including privitisations and sale of council houses;

  • 'Right to Buy' 1980 - improves home ownership, but lowers supply
  • Privitisation - shares bought up by those with money
  • Polarisation - bottom 10% of society see income fall by 17%

The significance of the Miners' strikes, 1984-1985, on industrial relations;

  • Miners' against the pit closures - Thatcher stands her ground - strike fails
  • Battle of Orgreave 1984 - pitched battle between Police and strikers - violence.
  • Crushed the unions, miners forced to give in, Scargill loses support

The emergence of extra-parliamentary opposition;

  • Opposition (Labour/SDP/Liberals) not strong enough to fight Conservatives
  • Greenham Women (against cruise missiles), anti-Poll Tax riots
  • Culture and Media - Spitting Image, Private Eye, scathing attacks in theatre
3 of 5

Foreign Affairs

The Falklands War

  • Invasion in Argentina - April 1982 - Thatcher responds with military action
  • Widespread support for the war - victory in 74 days after the Argentine surrender

Britains relations with Europe;

  • Thatcher against a European political union - 'No, No, No' speech 1988
  • Particulary tough relationship with German chancellor Kohl

Mrs Thatcher's 'special relationship' with the United States;

  • Strong friendship with Reagan - repairs special relationship
  • Work together on ending the Cold War

Britains' role in ending the Cold War

  • Cold Warriors - Thatcher, Reagan and Pope John Paul II
  • Determined and strong action against USSR - Berlin Wall falls 1989
4 of 5

Foreign Affairs

The Falklands War

  • Invasion in Argentina - April 1982 - Thatcher responds with military action
  • Widespread support for the war - victory in 74 days after the Argentine surrender

Britains relations with Europe;

  • Thatcher against a European political union - 'No, No, No' speech 1988
  • Particulary tough relationship with German chancellor Kohl

Mrs Thatcher's 'special relationship' with the United States;

  • Strong friendship with Reagan - repairs special relationship
  • Work together on ending the Cold War

Britains' role in ending the Cold War

  • Cold Warriors - Thatcher, Reagan and Pope John Paul II
  • Determined and strong action against USSR - Berlin Wall falls 1989
5 of 5

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The Making of Modern Britain 1951-2007 resources »