She was the longest-serving prime minister of Great Britain, and the nation’s first woman prime minister. She also served as the secretary of state for education and science for five years. Before entering politics, she was a research chemist and a lawyer.
During her tenure as prime minister, she introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse high unemployment and Great Britain’s struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. She also helped reform the education system, the National Health Service, and the local government tax system. Along with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II, she helped bring down Soviet communism. Her tough approach to government, particularly in dealing with her opposition, earned her the nick name, “the Iron Lady.”
She was also a devout Christian and a member of the Methodist church. Her belief in Biblical principles was evident in many of the political positions she took throughout her career. She believed that the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the command to love our neighbors as ourselves in the New Testament are the principles upon which economic and social life should be based. She said, “We must not profess the Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour; but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ expressed so well in the hymn: ‘When I survey the wondrous Cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.'”
In a speech to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1988, she said, “The truths of the Judaic-Christian tradition are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace for which we all long… I leave you with that earnest hope that we may all come nearer to that other country whose ‘ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.'” Her name is Margaret Thatcher.