The Swerve is a five-year historical period during which many of the policies pursued since the end of the Second World War onward were temporarily reversed. It began with the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of the UK on 6th May, 1979, and that of Ronald Reagan at the end of 1980, and ended with Thatcher's defeat by Denis Healey and the election of Walter Mondale in late 1984. It was characterized by Thatcher's attempt to take on the unions and pursue privatization, by George Bush's economic policies, and by a strong entrenchment of Cold War positions against the Warsaw Pact by NATO.

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