The period of late Thatcher and the ‘Tory 90s’ is regularly seen politically as one of stasis – with a Conservative Party desperately seeking to repackage itself for a new generation no longer compelled to vote Conservative as their parents had in the 1980s. Society – allegedly – had become more socially liberal and was not ready to go ‘back to basics’. But how widespread was this identifiable trend and how much change did it bring to our ‘first-order concepts’ of race, class, gender and sexuality? Was ‘Girl Power’, real power? Was the tragic case of Stephen Lawrence the watershed many of the tireless activists involved wanted it to be? And if so, why? In the post-Cold War world, was Major able to lead Britain in a new direction on the Global Stage?

By now students will be familiar with the idea that much of ‘Modern Britain’ was in fact remade both because of and despite its political leadership. But in summing up the period, students invited to answer how far ‘Modern’ Britain’s travels and travails between 1987 and 1997 represented something distinctively new at all.

Lesson List

  1. Should Thatcher have seen her resignation coming?
  2. How did Labour manage to lose the 1992 Election?
  3. How much was John Major able to lead between 1990 and 1997?
  4. Was ‘the tide’ simply coming in for the Conservatives in 1997?
  5. How ‘socially liberal’ had Britain become by 1997?
  6. Was Girl Power, real power?
  7. Why was one Black life seen to matter more than most in the 1990s?
  8. Did Major lead Britain in a new direction on the global stage?
  9. Did Britain travel in a new direction between 1987 and 1997? – revision Lesson



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