This book looked to the conservative spirit of effective government as espoused by Alexander Hamilton, combined with the democracy of Thomas Jefferson. The book was one of the most influential books in American political history, shaping the ideas of many intellectuals and political leaders. It also influenced the later New Deal. Calling themselves the new nationalists, Croly and Walter Weyl sought to remedy the relatively weak national institutions with a strong federal government. He actively promoted a strong army and navy and attacked pacifists who thought democracy at home and peace abroad was best served by keeping America weak.