In the latter 1940s, a growing number of American intellectuals, including scholars in various academic disciplines, were attracted to the study of Africa by two powerful incentives. First, African nationalism created a new horizon for the advancement of democracy, the twentieth century's preeminent political ideal. Second, many intellectuals were anxious to reconstruct the prevailing theories of society so that they would fairly represent the aspirations and problems of people everywhere on earth. From this perspective, due regard for the contributions of Africa was deemed to be a scientific, as well as a moral, imperative. These goals, democracy and universalism, were embraced and combined by the theorists of modernization.