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Thatcher Source Homework Essay

901 words - 4 pages

With reference to source 2,3, and 5 and your understanding of historical context, assess the value of these sources to a historian studying the meaning of Thatcherism.
The meaning of Thatcherism comes down to the fundamental question as to is it a style of leadership or a set of key principles that make up ‘New Right’ conservatism. Thatcherism is a combination of traditional conservative principles, for example, low taxation, free trade and patriotism and liberal economic policies like monetarism.
The purpose of source two is to inform people and allow the public to gain an insight in to what fuelled Margaret Thatcher’s beliefs. This source is useful to a historian studying the meaning of Thatcherism because she explains some of her fundamental principles. For example, she placed a strong focus on the importance of the individual which can be seen when she says ‘…how much you are prepared to do yourself’. Because it is an interview it is a primary source, however because Thatcher is Prime Minister it is a one-sided view of Thatcherism which could mean it is overly positive as she has to defend her policies and focuses on the good they bring to the country. In this source Mrs Thatcher talks about the beliefs her Father instilled in her from a young age including being proactive about bringing a positive change for yourself and not relying on anyone else to do it for you. Which links to her famous quote that there is ‘no such thing as society’. Although she was known to use her background as a grocer’s daughter to her advantage to portray herself as a relatable figure to the public, when in reality she rarely visited her hometown and was by no means underprivileged. This devalues the source as it is not a true representation of her life, she still attended Oxford University though was critical of her time there. The statement ‘… how much you’re prepared to give to others’ implies the key part of Thatcherism of keeping the state as a safety net and not viewing it as a universal privilege for all.
Source three is from a politician who was a minister in Thatcher’s government and who was strongly socially conservative which is in line with the beliefs of Thatcherism and the New Right ideals. This is evident as it says he was critical of the 1960s which was known as the ‘swinging sixties’ when people became more outgoing and there was a strong anti-establishment counter culture feeling amongst the young as well as a rise in drug use. The fact he wants to use the ‘cane to discipline children’ suggests that he too believes in the same ‘Victorian values’ as Thatcher. This refers to...

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