The shift towards market-based policies in the late 1980s and early 1990s, remarkable for being virtually world-wide, was a turning point in economic history. It was evident in the industrial democracies about the beginning of the decade and there were some signs of it earlier still. German Socialists moved away from traditional socialism in the 1970s and the French Socialist party did so rapidly while in power in the early 1980s. In Britain, while the Thatcher government was making radical changes, including privatisation, the Labour Party in opposition broke away from its socialist roots, and accepted much of the Thatcherite revolution (as the Conservatives 40 years before had largely accepted the Attlee revolution). In other European countries, such as Spain, there was a similar trend, and even before the collapse of communism in the East, the Communist Parties of Italy and France had moved far from their traditional positions. And in the United States the 1980s were the decade of two Republican Presidents, Reagan and Bush.
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