late 20th c

This Week In History - 4th May 1979 - Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher is sworn in as the UK’s first female Prime Minister

Upon moving into 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain’s struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. 

Her political philosophy and economic policies (mirrored in the USA with President Ronald Reagan) emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.

Thatcher’s popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment until the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.