The Weimar-Jena Phenomenon. Culture around 1800
E3: Medicine in Jena around 1800
About the Project
Project E 3 investigates how the health policy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach around 1800 became part of the far-reaching reforms that led to the development of modern statehood. The project analyzes the nature and development of the corresponding discourse between intellectuals (medical practitioners and academics) and political elites (rulers and administrative bodies) in the Duchy, and to what extent reform-oriented positions gained influence in the rulers' decision-making process and in legislatory practice.
Study A: The "medicinische Policey" as subject in the lectures and publications of university teachers of medicine in Jena
Study B: The health policy in Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach during the late 18th and early 19th century as result of the interaction between intellectual elites and rulers
At the end of the 18th century a number of treatises were written that aimed to integrate specific medical experience and demands within a medical system sanctioned by the state. Johann Peter Frank's (1745-1821) treatise "System einer vollständigen medicinischen Polizey", the first volume of which appeared in 1779 and the sixth and last volume in 1819, gained particular importance. By the term "medizinische Polizey" Frank and other medical practitioners influenced by the Enlightenment understood all measures that could improve the physical condition of the public. These measures included demands for better medical training, for supervision and control of lay practitioners (midwives, surgeons, "quack doctors") and, above all, of pharmacists. The study examines to what extent university teachers of medicine in Jena contributed to this discourse, what topics they were discussing and how relevant their theoretical approaches and their demands resulting from these were. Of interest are, for example, the intentions of the persons involved to participate in this discourse, the role they assigned to issues of health policy within the context of medical training and the extent to which they created awareness and shaped the thinking of their students and doctoral candidates with regards to this subject.
In the years between 1770 and 1830 health care became a hallmark of the social policy practiced by the rulers in Weimar. The aim of this study is to provide a consistent description of the process during which the ideas exchanged between intellectuals and rulers became reflected in the health policy pursued in the area. First, it will be determined if and to what extent the health care demands of leading health professionals correspond to the positions of other intellectuals. Furthermore, the study will investigate the reasons why the ideas that were developed by the health professionals and that aimed at improving the physical condition of the public received different responses from the ruling elites. In addition, the conditions need to be investigated that shaped the specific character of the health policy measures taken by the rulers. The study will also address the question of the extent to which the policy makers in their decisions were influenced by impulses coming from other regions. Finally, since professors of medicine and medical officers increasingly had to undertake tasks related to political authority, the development of the self-conception of the medical professions will be analyzed.