An Essay On The Principles Of Population

An Essay On The Principles Of Population-13
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 later the advanced nations of Western Europe were to face a problem of declining numbers.

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Preventative checks reduced the birth rate; positive checks increased the death rate.

Moral restraint, vice and birth control were the primary preventative checks.

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.

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.All the children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to this level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the deaths of grown persons. To act consistently, therefore, we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavouring to impede, the operation of nature in producing this mortality, and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use.Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits.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 our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.In the country we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations.we might probably every one of us marry at the age of puberty and yet few be absolutely starved. ] In Malthus' opinion, the masses were incapable of exercising moral restraint, which was the only real remedy for the population problem.They were therefore doomed to live always at bare subsistence level.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.


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