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Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Hilda Thatcher in full, nicknamed the “Iron Lady” (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) was born in Lincolnshire, England. Her economic and social policies evolved into a political philosophy known as Thatcherism. Margaret Thatcher is one of the seminal political figures of the 20th century.
See the fact file below for more information on Margaret Thatcher or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Margaret Thatcher worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Early Life and Education
- Margaret was a daughter to Alfred Roberts and Beatrice Ethel and a younger sister to Muriel. She spent most of her childhood in Grantham, where her father Alfred, a local businessman, owned two grocery stores as source of livelihood.
- The Roberts family lived in a flat above one of Alfred’s grocery stores.
- The family provided brief shelter to a Jewish girl who had escaped Germany. Margaret and Muriel helped pay for the Jewish girl’s journey.
- Margaret and Muriel were raised as strict Wesleyan Methodists.
- Margaret Roberts studied in Huntingtower Road Primary School. While studying, she was also involved in extracurricular activities such as playing piano, poetry recitals, field hockey and swimming.
- She won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, grammar school, where she became the head girl.
- While in her sixth year, she decided to apply to Somerville College in Oxford to study chemistry. She was offered the scholarship only after the initial candidate withdrew.
- She first arrived in Oxford in 1943 and studied a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours, specializing in X-ray crystallography.
- Growing up, her father, who was a member of Grantham’s council, introduced her to Conservative government. Alfred was also an ex-Mayor of the town.
- While in Oxford she was known to keep to herself and have a serious attitude. She also met her first boyfriend during college, Tony Bray, where she was characterized as “thoughtful and a great conversationalist.”
- She served as a life peer “Baroness Thatcher” in the House of Lords.
- Margaret Thatcher also served as the president of the Conservative Association at Oxford University in 1946.
- She moved to Colchester Essex after graduating, where she worked as a research chemist for BX Plastics for four years.
- She also worked as a food scientist developing soft-serve ice cream at J. Lyons and Co.
- In 1951, she married a wealthy industrialist named Denis Thatcher, who also supported her political ambitions. Margaret and Denis had twins: a daughter, Carol, and a son, Mark, in 1953.
- Thatcher made her first attempt for public office two years after graduating from college. She ran as a candidate in the 1950 elections as the conservative candidate for a Dartford parliamentarian but was unsuccessful. She then tried to run again the following year but was once more defeated.
- In 1959, Thatcher entered the House of Commons winning a Conservative seat of Finchley, where she served as:
- Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Pension and Insurance (1964-1964)
- Chief Opposition Spokesman on Education (1967-1970)
- Secretary of State for Education and Science (1970-1974)
- Margaret was the second woman in the Conservative government to hold a cabinet portfolio.
- As an Education Secretary, it only took few days for Thatcher to spark controversy after she withdrew Labour’s Circular 10/16, a government-issued circular, without consultation.
- While being a member of the cabinet under Edward Heath’s Conservative government, Margaret was dubbed “Thatcher the Milk Snatcher”, after she eliminated the program providing free milk to school children.
- But she also created more schools compared to the previous Education Minister.
- In 1975, she was the only member prepared to challenge Edward Heath for party leadership. She then was elected the same year.
Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister
- Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime Minister, serving from 1979-1990. She was also the first female PM of Britain.
- When Thatcher took over, Britain was struggling with recession and Margaret came up with a resolution known as “Thatcherism”. It focussed mainly on the effectiveness of privatization of services and prioritizing personal responsibility over social welfare.
- Thatcher and her ally, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who was a fellow conservative, collaborated to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union. She was then called the “Iron Lady” by the Soviet press.
- Argentinian forces conquered the British territory of the Falkland Island in 1982. Thatcher responded with hostility in which she ordered the sinking of an Argentine cruiser that killed numerous Argentine sailors. The fight for sovereignty lasted for 74 days.
- In 1984, Thatcher luckily escaped an assassination attempt by an Irish Republican army member named Patrick Magee. The blast was heard from Margaret’s suite at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. She was in an adjoining room and escaped unharmed.
Legacy and Later Years
- Thatcher was also an author of two books: The Downing Street Years in 1993 and The Path to Power in 1995. The books are about her experiences as a world leader and a woman in politics.
- Thatcher was deemed the fourth-greatest Prime Minister of the 20th century, and in 2002 she ranked highest in the BBC poll 100 Greatest Britons.
- Time magazine in 1999, recognized Thatcher as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.
- In 1991, the Thatcher Foundation was formed, a nonprofit educational organization, to advance political and economic freedom.
- In 2008, her daughter, Carol, revealed that Margaret had been showing sign of dementia since 2000.
- In 2002, Thatcher suffered a series of small strokes. The following year, her husband of 50 years, died.
- On April 8, 2013, after battling strokes and memory problems, Margaret died at the age of 87.
Margaret Thatcher Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Margaret Thatcher across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Margaret Thatcher worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Hilda Thatcher in full, nicknamed the “Iron Lady” (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) who was born in Lincolnshire, England. Her economic and social policies evolved into a political philosophy known as Thatcherism. Margaret Thatcher is one of the seminal political figures of the 20th century.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Margaret Thatcher Facts
- The Life of a Legend
- The Iron Lady
- All About Margaret Thatcher!
- Letter to an Expert!
- Find that Word!
- Born to Stand Out
- Famous Lines
- Fill In the Gap
- Margaret Thatcher Poster
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Link will appear as Margaret Thatcher Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 6, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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