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History Corner





Margaret Thatcher-Britain in 1979

Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993)


‘Britain in 1979 was a nation that had had the stuffing knocked out of it with progressively more severe belabourings over the previous hundred years.

Beginning in the 1880s, our industrial supremacy had been steadily eroding in the face of first American, then German competition.


To be sure, some part of this erosion was inevitable and even welcome.
As the pioneer of the industrial revolution, Britain enjoyed a head start over its competitors that was bound to diminish as nations with larger populations and more abundant natural resources entered the race.

But since their rise would mean the growth of large export markets for Britain as well as fierce competition in domestic and third markets Imperial Germany, for instance, was Britain's second largest export market in 1914 this commercial rivalry was more blessing than curse.’