Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
In the course of the discussion I was naturally led into some examination of the effects of this principle on the existing state of society. It appeared to account for much of that poverty and misery observable among the lower classes of people in every nation, and for those reiterated failures in the efforts of the higher classes to relieve them. The more I considered the subject in this point of view, the more importance it seemed to acquire; and this consideration, joined to the degree of public attention which the Essay excited, determined me to turn my leisure reading towards an historical examination of the effects of the principle of population on the past and present state of society; that, by illustrating the subject more generally, and drawing those inferences from it, in application to the actual state of things, which experience seemed to warrant, I might give it a more practical and permanent interest.
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Why was malthus essay on the principle of population important to In T R Malthus a British economist put forward a theory of human population growth
An Essay On the Principle of Population by Thomas …
Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)
English political economist
Was concerned with what he saw as the decline of living conditions in England
Published "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798
This work earned economics the title of "the dismal science"
What did Malthus observe?
Outlaid a simple proposition with a dire and seemingly inescapable outcome (Goodstein, 2011 p119):
that food supply grows arithmetically; and
that population grows geometrically
Eventually, population outstrips food supply.
"This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence.