Reagan And Thatcher's Domestic Policy Analysis

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If we look at Reagan and Thatcher’s domestic policies, they had many reasons to strengthen the relations between the United States and the United Kingdom as they shared a similar vision of politics, economics and society. Regarding foreign relations, they were determined to protect the West from the communist threat. Reagan no longer wanted to follow the policy of containment, limiting the spread of the soviet block, but he wanted to roll back communism, to eradicate it rather than contain it. Thatcher was also absolutely intransigeant on communism, supported independence movements in Eastern Europe, and had been called the « Iron Lady » by the Soviets. However, Thatcher and Reagan had in mind the same goal : restore their countries’ greatness …show more content…
This « special relationship » has thus fueled the work of many scholars. In 1991, Geoffrey Smith wrote that « the "special relationship" of Britain and America became the especial relationship, a very unique and momentous partnership, not only because of the shared policy goals but also because of the personal chemistry, friendship ». But more recent writings by Richard Aldous in 2012 and James Cooper in 2016 argue that the relationship was special only in appearance, that in fact it was weaker than it seemed as they did not share the same idea of foreign policy. Although as we saw in the first part their opinions and values converged on a number of aspects of society, they had in mind different strategies to implement them. For instance, they disagreed on issues such as arms control and the attitude to adopt regarding the Soviet Union, the « evil empire ». Both saw communism as a monstrous threat and enemy, but had different plans on how to tackle it. Even though they agreed on the fact that peace had to be established through strength, with strong defence and a shift of power balance towards the West, this did not have the same meaning for Reagan and Thatcher. As James Cooper argued, for Reagan, this equilibrium had to be changed and maintained thanks to nuclear weapons : he wanted the West to have control over this balance of power, with the creation of the SDI - Strategic Defence Initiative -, a missile defence shield which would protect the United States of any attacks by ballistic nuclear weapons, and the relaunch of the arms race. Thatcher on the other hand did not see the relevance in investing millions in costly weapons. She believed that the West could maintain superiority through powerful and strong military alliances and dissuasion. However, despite their divergences, Reagan and Thatcher wanted to show that their relation was definitely « special

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