Public health officers constantly demanded greater compulsory powers, first provided for them under the 1866 Sanitary Act. From this point public health legislation acquired an ever greater vocabulary of systematic enforcement. Victorians were forced to decide whether legislation designed to protect them against themselves was tyranny or salvation. The battles over the enforcement of health, however, were eventually superseded by the professionalization of the relationship between doctors and the state. The most powerfully interventionist policies went unopposed in England, however. These were the infectious diseases laws, created at the end of the nineteenth century. These laws were developed as the result of the bacteriological discovery of disease causation and were aimed at controlling socially transmissible infections which had endemically effected high morbidity and mortality within local communities throughout Britain during the nineteenth century. Despite subsequently continuing reduction of infectious diseases throughout the twentieth century, the compulsory powers of notification and isolation remained on the British statute books.