The Myths of War: The Impact of the Falklands War on British Politics, Decolonization, and National Identity
Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
In 1982, Britain and Argentina fought a war over the Falkland Islands, which had political and social effects on both countries. With a focus on the British side of the war, I argue that the Falkland Islands served as pawns in a game to advance Thatcher’s political career, to change the narrative of decolonization, and to unite the British people under a cohesive national identity through British nationalism. This argument is analyzed and supported by British newspapers, House of Commons records, and Margaret Thatcher’s speeches and memoirs. Politically, the Falklands War ensured the survival of Margaret Thatcher’s political career and secured her reelection following Thatcher’s extremely low popularity rating. During the war, the British government presented the Falkland Islands as an exception to British decolonization—a shift from opinions before and after the war. Socially, Margaret Thatcher used rhetoric from the Second World War to unite the British but created sentiments of jingoism instead of a cohesive national identity. The myths created during the war explain how the British government and Margaret Thatcher manipulated the Falklands to create a national narrative to serve a domestic purpose larger than the islands themselves.
Rogers, Lindsey, "The Myths of War: The Impact of the Falklands War on British Politics, Decolonization, and National Identity" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1694.
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