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How Thatcher Saved Britain -- And Lost Europe

The Iron Lady's Foreign Policy

Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl in Germany. (Courtesy Reuters)

The United Kingdom has had its share of remarkable twentieth-century prime ministers. David Lloyd George was in many respects the architect of victory over Germany in the First World War. Winston Churchill led the country to victory in the second. Clement Attlee spearheaded the transformation of British society after 1945 with the creation of the welfare state. None of them, however, lent their names to an “ism”; there would have been something almost un-British about it. All that changed in 1979 with the election of Margaret Thatcher. The outlines of Thatcherism on the socio-economic front are well known: rolling back the frontiers of the state, emphasizing individual responsibility, and championing entrepreneurial creativity. Today, the legacy of Thatcherism is ambivalent. On the one hand, Thatcher pulled the country out of the economic tailspin of the 1970s; on the other hand, her war on regulation

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