The Satanic Verses Historical Context

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Britain in the 1980s

Rushdie was living in London when he wrote The Satanic Verses, and 1980s London is also the main historical context of the novel. Throughout the 1980s, the conservative Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of England. Known for her policies of reducing government spending on everything except defense, as well as privatizing government-controlled industries, Thatcher was ideologically akin to the American President Ronald Reagan.

The early 1980s in England were marked by rising unemployment, but Thatcher's government remained popular and won the 1983 election largely because of Britain's involvement in the Falklands War. Argentina, which had long claimed ownership over the British territorial islands on its shores, sent forces to the island in 1982, and Thatcher responded by sending a British naval task force that defeated the Argentines.

After the 1983 election, Thatcher presided uncompromisingly over a series of domestic disturbances beginning with the Miner's Strike of 1984&mdash...

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This section contains 538 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Satanic Verses Study Guide
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The Satanic Verses from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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