European intellectuals attained the apogee of their influence and power in the decade after the First World War. After the First World War intellectual life in France flourished as much as in Germany but mostly outside the universities. The years of the Weimar Republic had also been a great period for intellectuals in Germany, as was the case almost throughout Europe. Intellectuals in America are like coral reefs in the ocean, mostly covered by the high tide of public hostility but emerging into view at low tide on halcyon days when tempers are calm, only to disappear again when conditions worsen and public storms brew against them. In fact the Constitutional Convention of 1787 has been called the first American brain trust. America was the great beneficiary of the exodus of intellectuals from Europe. The intellectuals were the last major dispensers of meaning to the world and creators of culture.