The rise of public health care in Germany was part of a modernization process, the first product of which was the state. As part of the cameralist policy of encouraging population productivity, the dignitaries of Prussia and other German states began to establish special authorities responsible for the health and well-being of the population as early as the late seventeenth century. The 18th century saw a bureaucratization of health management methods, with district doctors (Kreisphysickus) as representatives in the field. They were entrusted with a wide range of administrative responsibilities, but their social status remained low. Some of the district doctors became known as the authors of treatises on medical police, presenting their views on the development of public health. Their theories, however, were far removed from actual practice. The situation began to change only after 1848, when political events in Germany prompted a new generation of physicians to vigorously demand political, social and medical reforms.