The book ''An Essay on the Principle of Population'' was first published anonymously in , but the author was soon identified as Thomas Robert Malthus. The book warned of future difficulties, on an interpretation of the population increasing in geometric progression so as to double every 25 years while food production increased in an arithmetic progression , which would leave a difference resulting in the want of food and famine, unless birth rates decreased. While it was not the first book on population, Malthus's book fuelled debate about the size of the population in Britain and contributed to the passing of the Census Act This Act enabled the holding of a national census in England, Wales and Scotland, starting in and continuing every ten years to the present. The book's 6th edition was independently cited as a key influence by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in developing the theory of natural selection. A key portion of the book was dedicated to what is now known as the Malthusian Law of Population.
An essay on the principle of population summary
Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population – Xenotheka
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. Malthus observes that humans tend to like having sex, which means that inevitably especially before modern contraceptives humans would likely continue to make children at a constant rate. But since two people can have more than two children, and each of those children can have even more children, population growth is not arithmetical, but rather geometric. What Malthus means by 'arithmetical' and 'geometric' is simply that some systems produce at the level of addition and subtraction, and other systems work differently. If it works by process of addition, it is arithmetical, and if it works by process of multiplication, such as population growth, it is geometric. So Malthus concludes from that basic study of the systems of population growth that we can expect the population to double every 25 years.
Thomas Malthus : The Principle Of Population
Not only did it help to establish the modern field of economics, it aided Charles Darwin on his regarding evolutionary science. This essay will. At first I will provide a short biographical note on Malthus and I will also mention his main achievements. Then, a summary of Malthus' main ideas of the first two chapters of mentioned work follows.
In his book An Essay on the Principle of Population , Malthus observed that an increase in a nation's food production improved the well-being of the population, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the " Malthusian trap " or the "Malthusian spectre". Populations had a tendency to grow until the lower class suffered hardship, want and greater susceptibility to famine and disease , a view that is sometimes referred to as a Malthusian catastrophe. Malthus wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. Malthus saw population growth as being inevitable whenever conditions improved, thereby precluding real progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man".