With all the upheavals and regime changes during the first half of the century, German history could be marked off into a number of different stages. Yet there are no really sharp demarcations for the Federal Republic, but rather several phases and none really clearcut. In the earlier years the overriding concerns were aimed at ensuring political stability, maintaining economic growth, and forging reliable international connections. These priorities have been of continuing importance, and yet — despite tangible success in all three respects — lingering doubts stubbornly persisted. Was the Federal Republic perhaps only a fair-weather democracy? What would be the political consequences of a prolonged economic depression? How would sudden increases in international tension affect the security of West Germany?
KeywordsFederal Republic Party System Civic Culture Sharp Demarcation German History
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