The Red Scare was an era in American history full of betrayal, ignorance, and paranoia, the effects of which could be seen from suburban streets to the silver-screen and everything in between. This fearful period was plagued with some of the darkest actions in the history of our nation that eventually led to mass hysteria across the country. With Soviet development of nuclear technology arriving nearly three years ahead of schedule, American citizens were fearing an inevitable nuclear war and ensuing downfall of the United States (Schmidt 13). This growing trepidation, coupled with the highly publicized trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg made America susceptible to theories or beliefs otherwise deemed ridiculous. This uncommon state of vulnerability allowed for a prime period for the rise of notorious senator, Joseph McCarthy. This Wisconsin Republican exploited the at-risk nation, and used its fears to gain power and celebrity. McCarthy, along with the obvious civil rights breach that was "The House of Un-American Activities Activities" caused massive distress on the political, social, and economic status in America. Their pleas of corruption and conspiracy led to the paralysis of independent thought and the welcomed beginning of mass conformity.
Throughout the Red Scare, the political landscape of the nation changed drastically. Hundreds were caught up in the tangle of blind paranoia, and there was nothing that could be done except fuel the fire more by perpetuating the "witch hunt". Joseph McCarthy burst onto the scene at the forefront of this fiasco, claiming that the United States government was replete with communist spies or sympathizers. His timely claims caught a heightened America off guard and sent the nation into a frenzied .
panic. The Senator was proving to be ineffective throughout his first term, and had very little respect, so he sought out to find a cause to further his political career and thus win him another election.