The 1990s featured the introduction of the National Lottery, ‘Dolly’ the Sheep, the Breakup of Yugoslavia and the sudden death of Princess Diana. Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister and New Labour came to power later in the decade, headed by Tony Blair. This provoked celebration and optimism for the future. The 1990s enjoyed steady economic growth and the Euro was introduced as a single European currency in 1999. The Gulf War was fought between 1990 and 1991, but the dissolution of the Soviet Union generated a more relaxed outlook. Peace was reached in Northern Ireland and Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.
The World Wide Web became publically accessible in the 1990s allowing easier communication. American sitcoms such as “Seinfeld” and “Friends” were hugely popular. The media campaigned against violence in films, following the Jamie Bulger murder and the Dunblane Massacre. There was also concern over Ecstasy and the illegal rave culture. Dance music rose in popularity and boy bands enjoyed success, but the decade was defined by the emergence of Britpop. Bands such as Oasis, Blur and the Spice Girls achieved worldwide fame, as Britain became the cutting edge of popular culture.