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The Conservative Party and Thatcherism, 1970-1979: A grass-roots perspective

Cowdrill, Daniel Anthony (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis argues that ‘Thatcherism’ was consistent with the values, prejudices, and interests of the Conservative party. The threat of socialism was pervasive and underpinned by the party’s socio-economic base. The economic status of the middle class, under threat from inflation, pay controls, taxation, organised trade unions, and even comprehensive education, resulted in a strong emphasis on individual freedom. The free market, property, and choice, with their strong norm of methodological individualism, were the Thatcherite alternative. This strengthened those with skills and qualifications but destroyed the collective structures that supported those without. Thatcherite historiography is exercised most by intellectual high politics while the broader Conservative party has been neglected. However Thatcherism was a real political movement, not just the creation of metropolitan intellectuals and politicians. The grass-roots perspective offers a fuller and richer insight into the Thatcher revolution.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Crowson, N. J.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Medieval and Modern History
Subjects:JN101 Great Britain
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:725
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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