The Bonn republic's reputation as a stable consensus democracy was based on the determination in the German basic law (Grundgesetz) that power has to be shared between a multiplicity of actors on the federal, regional and local level.
Although this sentiment never really took hold amongst the West German public (and seemed to be even less acceptable to the "new" citizens in the Eastern part of the unified Germany after 1990), a certain sense of pride of the political stability and the economic success the basic law had provided to a country that had emerged from the ruins of the Second World War, was clearly noticeable in the Bonn republic. This was most openly expressed by President Richard von Weizsacker in 1985, who in an otherwise somber speech to the Bundestag on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of WW2 highlighted the political success of West Germany's post-war political setting:
Yet, both Schoenbaum and Dickinson concentrate upon the same fundamental question, albeit formulated in different terms: in the case of the former whether Hitler's regime altered Germany so essentially as to have constituted a genuine social revolution, whereas the latter focuses on the dichotomy of the underlying continuities in official policy toward children and youth within the self-evidently significant alterations of political structure that occurred from the Second Empire down to the Bonn Republic.
The Bonn Republic -- West Germany's post-war state -- began on August 14th, 1949 and ended on October 3rd, 1990.
It is thus no accident that Anthony Nicholls, in his detailed and comprehensive history of the Bonn Republic, devotes more than one fifth of his space to the prehistory of those first elections in August 1949.
This is particularly welcome, given that what little historiography exists on FRG culture in English (at least until very recently) has tended to perpetuate the facile thesis about the American "Coca-Colonization" of the "Bonn Republic" This volume treats West German culture instead as a collective enterprise dedicated to anti-fascist humanist culture.