NEVER was a book more perfectly timed than Thomas Robert Malthus' "Essay on the Principle of Population." It appeared in 1798, in the midst of the Demographic Revolution, and in the land whose population was to increase at a faster pace in the coming "British century" than that of any country on the Continent.In 1650 the population of the world had been approximately 500,000,000; in 1940 it was to be two billion.
There are two versions of Thomas Robert Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population.
The first, published anonymously in 1798, was so successful that Malthus soon elaborated on it under his real name.
Also, they were a positive evil because they drained wealth and income from the higher (and therefore more moral) ranks of society.
These people were responsible - either in person or through patronage - for all the great achievements of society: art, music, philosophy, literature and so on owed their existence to the good taste and generosity of these people.
In the last 150 years of statistical history the British Isles increased their population more than fourfold, while at the same time they contributed more than 17,500,000 people to the settlement of North America and the overseas Dominions.
As the world's population continues to grow at a frighteningly rapid rate, Malthus's classic warning against overpopulation gains increasing importance.If all income and wealth were distributed among them, it would be totally wasted within one generation because of profligate behaviour and population growth, and they would be as poor and destitute as ever.Paternalistic attempts to help the poor were therefore highly likely to fail.Before starvation set in, Malthus advised that steps be taken to help the positive checks to do their work.He wrote: It is an evident truth that, whatever may be the rate of increase in the means of subsistence, the increase in population must be limited by it, at least after the food has been divided into the smallest shares that will support life.Moral restraint was the means by which the higher ranks of humans limited their family size in order not to dissipate their wealth among larger numbers of heirs.For the lower ranks of humans, vice and birth control were the means by which their numbers could be limited - but Malthus believed that these were insufficient to limit the vast numbers of the poor. One hundred and fifty years later the advanced nations of Western Europe were to face a problem of declining numbers. One hundred and fifty years before, Europe had a static population of approximately 100,000,000.An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) examines the tendency of human numbers to outstrip their resources, and argues that checks in the form of poverty, disease, and starvation are necessary to keep societies from moving beyond their means of subsistence.Malthus's simple but powerful argument was controversial in his time; today his name has become a byword for active concern about humankind's demographic and ecological prospects.