An Essay on the Principle of Population (Two Volumes in One)

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Cosimo, Inc., Dec 1, 2011 - Business & Economics - 610 pages
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Around 1796, Mr. Malthus, an English gentleman, had finished reading a book that confidently predicted human life would continue to grow richer, more comfortable and more secure, and that nothing could stop the march of progress. He discussed this theme with his son, Thomas, and Thomas ardently disagreed with both his father and the book he had been reading, along with the entire idea of unending human progress. Mr. Malthus suggested that he write down his objections so that they could discuss them point-by-point. Not long after, Thomas returned with a rather long essay. His father was so impressed that he urged his son to have it published. And so, in 1798, appeared An Essay on Population. Though it was attacked at the time and ridiculed for many years afterward, it has remained one of the most influential works in the English language on the general checks and balances of the world's population and its necessary control. Originally two volumes, it is presented here in an omnibus edition. THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS (1766-1834) was educated at Jesus College in Cambridge. In 1798, he was curate at Albury in Surrey, and became a Professor of History and Political Economy at Haileybury College, 1805.
 

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Contents

BOOK
5
0E THEIR OPERATION
12
HDHAN SocIETY
20
INDIANs
26
SDUTH SEA
44
HABITANTS OF THE NQRTH 0E Eunomz
59
NATI0Ns
89
SODTHERN
110
CRAP
200
OF THE CHECKS T0 POPULATION m FRANcEconti1med
228
Or THE Cmacxs TO POPULATION IN ENGLAND
236
Cazcxs TO POPULATION IN ENcuNDconrinud
267
ON THE Fnuxrruumss or MARRIAGES
279
mcs ON REGISTERS or Bnrms DEATHS AND MARRIAGES
295
GENERAL Dsnucnous mom THE PRECEDING Vnzw or Socxmv
304
Copyright

BOOK II
154

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About the author (2011)

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was a British scholar, influential in political economy and demography. Malthus popularized the economic theory of rent. Malthus has become widely known for his theories concerning population and its increase or decrease in response to various factors. The six editions of his An Essay on the Principle of Population, published from 1798 to 1826, observed that sooner or later population gets checked by famine and disease. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. William Godwin and the Marquis de Condorcet, for example, believed in the possibility of almost limitless improvement of society. So, in a more complex way, did Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose notions centered on the goodness of man and the liberty of citizens bound only by the socia1 contract - a form of popular sovereignty. Malthus thought that the dangers of population growth would preclude endless progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man."] As an Anglican clergyman, Malthus saw this situation as divinely imposed to teach virtuous behavior. Malthus placed the longer-term stability of the economy above short-term expediency. He criticized the Poor Laws and (alone among important contemporary economists) supported the Corn Laws, which introduced a system of taxes on British imports of wheat. He thought these measures would encourage domestic production, and so promote long-term benefits. Malthus became hugely influential, and controversial, in economic, political, social and scientific thought. Many of those whom subsequent centuries term evolutionary biologists read him, notably Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, for each of whom Malthusianism became an intellectual stepping-stone to the idea of natural selection. Malthus remains a writer of great significance and controversy.

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