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 was born to a wealthy family near Surrey, England. His father, the eccentric Daniel Malthus, was friends with both David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Malthus was educated privately at home and, at age 13, began two years of study in residence with Richard Graves, a Protestant minister near Bath. He excelled in history, classics, and fighting. In a letter to Daniel Malthus on the progress of his son, Graves stated that young Thomas "loves fighting for fighting's sake, and delights in bruising. . . ." In 1783, Malthus enrolled in a religious academy for Protestant dissenters; when it failed the same year, he became the private student of a radical Unitarian minister. At age 18, he enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics and the classics. He graduated from Cambridge in 1788 and became an ordained minister in the Church of England in 1791. Malthus and his father frequently discussed the issues of the day. When the elder Malthus became fascinated with the utopian philosophy of the popular William Godwin, which preached a vision of peace, prosperity, and equality for all, the younger Malthus expressed his doubts in a manuscript intended only for his father. His father suggested, however, that it be published and so "An Essay on the Principle of Population As It Affects the Future Improvement of Society" appeared in 1798. The book was an instant success. Well written, it argued that population tended to grow at a geometric (exponential) rate, whereas the resources needed to support the population would only grow at an arithmetic (linear) rate. Eventually, society would not have the resources to support its population, and the result would be misery, poverty, and a subsistence standard of living for the masses. "An Essay on the Principle of Population" thrust Malthus into the public eye and dealt such a lethal blow to utopian visions that economics was soon called "the dismal science." In 1805, Malthus became the first person in England to receive the title of political economist when he was appointed professor of history and political economy at the East India College. In 1811, he met David Ricardo, and the two soon became lifelong friends and professional rivals. In 1820, Malthus published "Principles of Political Economy," a sometimes obscure but far-reaching treatment of economics that advocated a form of national income accounting, made advances in the theory of rent, and extended the analysis of supply and demand. Today, Malthus is more remembered for his views on population than for his views on economics. Even so, his other achievements have not gone unnoticed. John Maynard Keynes paid the ultimate tribute when he wrote:"If only Malthus, instead of Ricardo, had been the parent stem from which nineteenth-century economics proceeded, what a much wiser and richer place the world would be today!

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