Margaret Thatcher, later Baroness Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, the first woman to hold the position.
Thatcher was chosen to be the leader of the Conservative Party in February 1975, succeeding former Prime Minister Edward Heath. She was opposed to socialism and out-of-control union power which had brought down the previous Conservative government in 1974. She led the Conservatives to victory in the May 1979 General Election and was so appointed Prime Minister.
Lady Thatcher sold many of the nationalized industries back to private investors and made tax cuts. She broke the power of the trade unions which stood in the way of the rationalization of the gas industry and modernization of the newspaper industry. Due to her strong standards and her leadership style, she became known as the "Iron Lady," a term originally coined as an offence by the communist Soviet Union, but one she adopted, at the beginning of her political friend Enoch Powell, with hilarity. A famous statement of hers was that "the lady is not for turning", in reference to calls from within her own party to back down on issues that were important to her. Thatcher was always a strong supporter of the the United States, and was a good friend of President Ronald Reagan, uniting with him in actions against the Communists.
She led Britain to victory against Argentina in a 1982 war over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The United States was related with both countries, and initially tried to broker a negotiated settlement. When that failed, the U.S. supported Britain with vital intelligence information. The conflict led to a strong friendship with the Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet after Chile helped Britain in the conflict.
Thatcher won a total three general elections (1979,... [continues]
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