Resources for Teachers and Students on Margaret Thatcher
Prepare: Margaret Thatcher was not only the first
woman to serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom,
but was also the UK's longest-serving prime minister of
the 20th Century. Other than for her seat in the House of
Lords, she has retired from political life, and heads the
Margaret Thatcher Foundation, MTF, where her biography
can be found.
Margaret Thatcher's Architects
of Peace essay is excerpted from a magazine article
titled, "Moral Foundations of Society: A Contrast between
East and West." In it, she posits that democracy is
essential to preserving freedom.
Explore: In 1995 Margaret Thatcher was invited to
give the Rajiv Ghandi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. In
this speech, she outlines her concept of "Pax Democratica,"
where she insists that, "Genuine democracies do not,
by and large, make wars upon each other." The complete
text of Thatcher's
lecture is available in the archives of The Margaret
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Thatcher
insists that a single international democracy, what some
theorists call a "new world order," will never
be achieved. She argues that "we are misleading ourselves
about human nature" when we claim that civilization
will ever outgrow the need to go to war. Is this an overly
pessimistic view of human nature? Are international efforts
such as the United Nations forever doomed to fail in favor
of nationalism? Compose a two-to-three page persuasive essay
speculating on whether a new world order will ever be possible,
and projecting what this means about human nature.
Extend: In a controversial decision in 1982, Thatcher
ordered British troops into combat as part of a territorial
dispute with Argentina over the ownership of the Falkland
Islands in 1982. Thatcher writes of what led to her decision
on pages 173-185 of her memoir, The
Downing Street Years, which can be read on the MTF
website. A concise history of the Falklands
War, including the failed attempts to work toward
a diplomatic solution, can also be viewed online.
Additional Resource: The BBC conducted an in-depth
retrospective of the Falklands War on its twentieth
anniversary, combining their own reports with those of the
World Services Spanish news site.
Biography of Margaret