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Describe the Reaction of British People to the Argentinean Invasion of the Falkland Islands

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Question 2 Joe Ward 5V DMT Describe the Reaction of British People to the Argentinean Invasion of the Falkland Islands There were huge number of different reactions and emotions shown by the British people following the invasion of the Argentinean junta of the Falklands. These included outrage, humiliation, anger, resentment, fear, pride and even shame. Much of the first response was of shame. The people were embarrassed that a "once-great" country could suffer such a humiliation in losing its territory to the Argentineans. Initially this reaction was vented upon the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and many people including influential politicians called for her resignation in the early stages of the conflict in the South Atlantic. Many were outraged that Argentina had apparently beaten the British, because they thought that the Latin Americans were not a real world power. As one disgruntled Brit said to The Daily Mail, "Mrs Thatcher will not only go down in history as the first woman Prime minister but possibly the first to allow a Spanish speaking nation to defeat us. Sir Francis drake must be turning in his grave." ...read more.


One newspaper, The Times again, condemned the Argentinian invasion saying; "Argentina's seizure of the Falkland Islands is as perfect an example of unprovoked aggression and military expansion as the world has had to witness since the end of Adolf Hitler." News coverage like this further provoked the resentment and stirred popular anger against Argentina. This type of journalism, aimed at disrupting the peace and adding to the public's angry view of Argentina, was rife amongst the newspapers of the time. As well as anger, a popular view was the sentiment that British pride was at stake and action must be taken to counter the aggression to restore the country's reputation. It was commonly believed that the majority of the British population wanted to use force to regain the Falklands and that they saw resolving the matter as very important. The Times reported that "Seventy percent of British people believe the Royal Navy should sink Argentinian ships." This shows the extent of resentment in the minds of the British people towards the Argentinians. If the poll was representative of the British peoples' view, it shows the real strength of popular opinion. ...read more.


They are only finding out now through newspaper reports". This again is an example of the way the media were responsible for some of the "blood lust" that was generated at the time, with their inflammatory writing. Another reaction to the Invasion by the Argentinians was that of fear and panic. This occurred when the economy and stock market was negatively affected by the loss of the Falklands. The pound was decreasing in value which led to fears about increases in interest rates which would affect all businesses and home owners. As well as this over the few days following the invasion �5,000 million was wiped from share values in the stock market. The uncertainty resulted in a wave of fast selling of shares. In conclusion I feel that the main reaction of the British was initially that of anger, towards both Margaret Thatcher and her government (for failing to defend the islands adequately) and also increasingly towards the Argentinian military government for attacking them in the first place. After this came other responses that stem from anger such as embarrassment, humiliation, wounded national pride and the desire to put the whole thing right again. It is clear from the evidence that the media had a huge effect on the reactions that were expressed. ...read more.

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