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Ideologies of ConservatismConservative Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century$
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E. H. H. Green

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205937

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205937.001.0001

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Thatcherism: A Historical Perspective

Thatcherism: A Historical Perspective

(p.214) Chapter 8 Thatcherism: A Historical Perspective
Ideologies of Conservatism


Oxford University Press

Thatcherism came to dominance in the Conservative Party after 1975 had been prevalent amongst the middle and lower ranks of the party since the end of the Second World War. Despite the electoral success of the Conservative party since the 1945 defeat, and the adoption of the ‘post-war consensus’, the 1950s saw increasing concerns expressed by the party rank and file on inflation, trade union power, levels of taxation, and the perceived lack of policies in the Conservative party to deal with these issues. The initial actions of the 1970 Heath administration following the Selsdon Park conference appeared finally to start to address them. However, the subsequent policy ‘U turn’ and disappointment of electoral defeat in 1974 then paved the way for the election of Margaret Thatcher, the champion of the Conservative rank and file and the ideology that now bears her name.

Keywords:   Margaret Thatcher, Thatcherite, Post-War Consensus, Conservative Party, Selsdon Park, Edward Heath

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