The Bomb Scare is the name given to the general sense of paranoia in the United States at the governmental and social level in the early 1960's following the advent of the nuclear weapon by the French Empire in 1959. The Bomb Scare is attributed to the electoral victory of John E. Hoover in 1960, the development of the American nuclear weapon by 1962, the various overhauls of the US defense establishment throughout the 1960's, the expansion of America's role overseas, the founding of NATO, and the success of the right-of-center, pro-military National Party, who controlled the executive branch for sixteen years by painting the Democrats, who controlled Congress for much of the same period, as weak on foreign policy.
The Bomb Scare has a negative association, especially in modern context. Liberals often blame it for the repressed, reactionary attitude of the 1960's, the universal fear of nuclear warfare following 1962, and the eventual overextension of United States military power in the 1970's and early 1980's. Conservatives in the National Party, especially foreign policy hawks, credit the Bomb Scare with helping modernize the United States' defense establishment and forging national unity against France, which helped end the contentious civil rights and women's rights eras. In particular, Nationalists claim that without the Bomb Scare ending the fracticious 1950's, Betty Davis would never have been the Vice Presidential nominee in 1968 and Elizabeth Shannon would never have been nominated in 1980.