Iain Martin: Margaret Thatcher Had a Point about GermanyRoundup: Media's Take
tags: Telegraph (UK), Germany, Margaret Thatcher, Iain Martin
Iain Martin is one of Britain's leading political commentators. A former editor of The Scotsman and deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, he's currently writing a book about the financial crisis.
...In Graham Stewart's superb history of Britain in the 1980s (Bang!), he captures the sense of outrage when Margaret Thatcher expressed grave reservations about the reunification of Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall....
When Charles Powell, Thatcher's private secretary, summoned a group of leading historians to Chequers, on 24 March 1990, to discuss the implications of reunification, the news leaked. Powell had prepared a paper for the occasion which summarised the German national characteristics as "angst, aggressiveness, assertiveness, bullying, egotism, inferiority complex (and) sentimentality." The historians were generally appalled. In her public and private utterances the Iron Lady, a creature of the Cold War, seemed incapable of adapting to historic changed circumstances. Many Tory MPs were horrified that their leader and her inner circle seemed so out of step with mainstream continental opinion....
Conditioned by the aftermath of the Second World War and the Great Power interplay of the decades that followed, Thatcher missed that Germany had become a largely pacifist nation which rejected its martial past. But the idea that unification, followed by European monetary union, would strengthen Germany to the point that it would again dominate the continent looks pretty prescient now....
comments powered by Disqus
- Bozeman schools prefer kids in class on MLK Day
- Universities across the country are facing up to their past association with slavery
- Trump Budget Proposes Devastating Cuts to Federal History, Archival & Education Programs
- Alabama governor signs law giving thousands of felons their right to vote back
- Jerusalem Post recalls history of the Six-Day War
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?