Overview[ edit ] Between and Malthus published six editions of his famous treatise, updating each edition to incorporate new material, to address criticism, and to convey changes in his own perspectives on the subject. Malthus also constructed his case as a specific response to writings of William Godwin — and of the Marquis de Condorcet — He explained this phenomenon by arguing that population growth generally expanded in times and in regions of plenty until the size of the population relative to the primary resources caused distress:
He also drew on information he had collected on two trips to Europe, in and He frequently drew comparisons with China, which he felt clearly exemplified the operation of the principle of population.
However, a major benchmark was the data on population in the United States, enumerated in the and subsequent censuses.
The average growth of the population of the United States indicated that, where no shortage of farmland existed, the population would double in twenty-five years; indeed, in some frontier communities, as quickly as every fifteen years.
The first census in Britain, incaused him to revise some of the figures quoted in the first edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he had estimated the population of Great Britain as seven million.
The census of revealed that, on the contrary, the British already numbered eleven million. Using some of the new statistical data, Malthus demonstrates how the mathematical model underlying the principle of population would operate.
In the first twenty-five years, the population and the food supply could very well increase at the same rate, from one to two; but in the second twenty-five years, the population The entire section is words.Malthus’s Population Principle Explained.
By Frank W. Elwell. This essay is a faithful summary of Malthus’s original “Principle of Population.” While nothing will substitute for reading the original essay with an open mind, I hope this summary will go some way toward rehabilitating this man’s reputation.
Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus. Appleman, Philip, ed. Thomas Robert Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population, Text Sources, and Background Criticism. New York: W. W. Norton, Contains selections from the writings of.
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Thomas Malthus—Section Summary Malthus’ work, Essay on the Principle of Population, is often cited, first by Darwin himself, to have influenced Darwin’s conception of the theory of natural selection.