An Essay on the Principle of Population

Essay on the Principle of PopulationAn Essay on the Principles of PopulationIron law of populationMalthus's theory of populationPrinciple of Population
The book An Essay on the Principle of Population was first published anonymously in 1798, but the author was soon identified as Thomas Robert Malthus.wikipedia
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Alfred Russel Wallace

WallaceAlfred WallaceA. R. Wallace
The book's 6th edition (1826) was independently cited as a key influence by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in developing the theory of natural selection.
Wallace spent many hours at the library in Leicester: he read An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Robert Malthus, and one evening he met the entomologist Henry Bates.

Census in the United Kingdom

censusUK censusUnited Kingdom Census
This Act enabled the holding of a national census in England, Wales and Scotland, starting in 1801 and continuing every ten years to the present.

Natural selection

selectionselectiveselected
The book's 6th edition (1826) was independently cited as a key influence by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in developing the theory of natural selection.
Darwin's ideas were inspired by the observations that he had made on the second voyage of HMS Beagle (1831–1836), and by the work of a political economist, Thomas Robert Malthus, who, in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), noted that population (if unchecked) increases exponentially, whereas the food supply grows only arithmetically; thus, inevitable limitations of resources would have demographic implications, leading to a "struggle for existence".

Malthusian growth model

Malthusian parametergrowthgrowth model
The exponential nature of population growth is today known as the Malthusian growth model.
The model is named after Thomas Robert Malthus, who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), one of the earliest and most influential books on population.

Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas MalthusMalthusRobert Malthus
The book An Essay on the Principle of Population was first published anonymously in 1798, but the author was soon identified as Thomas Robert Malthus.
In his 1798 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 populace, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level.

Charles Darwin

DarwinDarwinianCharles Robert Darwin
The book's 6th edition (1826) was independently cited as a key influence by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in developing the theory of natural selection.
Continuing his research in London, Darwin's wide reading now included the sixth edition of Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population, and on 28 September 1838 he noted its assertion that human "population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty five years, or increases in a geometrical ratio", a geometric progression so that population soon exceeds food supply in what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe.

Census Act 1800

1801 census1801Census in 1801
Malthus's book fuelled debate about the size of the population in Britain and contributed to the passing of the Census Act 1800.
In the latter part of the eighteenth century, there were several proposals for a Census Bill and a growing concern about the population of Britain and its demand for food, particularly fuelled by the publication, in 1798 of Thomas Robert Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population.

Marquis de Condorcet

CondorcetNicolas de CondorcetCaritat
Malthus also constructed his case as a specific response to writings of William Godwin (1756–1836) and of the Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794).
Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) partly in response to Condorcet's views on the "perfectibility of society."

Malthusianism

Malthusianneo-MalthusianNeo-Malthusianism
These findings are the basis for neo-Malthusian modern mathematical models of long-term historical dynamics.
It derives from the political and economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population.

William Godwin

GodwinGodwinian William Godwin
Malthus also constructed his case as a specific response to writings of William Godwin (1756–1836) and of the Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794).
In 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population in response to Godwin's views on the "perfectibility of society."

Natural theology

Bridgewater TreatisesBridgewater Treatisenatural religion
Chapters 18 and 19 set out a theodicy to explain the problem of evil in terms of natural theology.
In An Essay on the Principle of Population, published during 1798, Thomas Malthus ended with two chapters on natural theology and population.

William Hazlitt

HazlittOn the Pleasure of HatingHazlitt, William
Other theoretical and political critiques of Malthus and Malthusian thinking emerged soon after the publication of the first Essay on Population, most notably in the work of Robert Owen, of the essayist William Hazlitt (1807) and of the economist Nassau William Senior, and moralist William Cobbett.
Hazlitt also contributed three letters to William Cobbett's Weekly Political Register at this time, all scathing critiques of Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population (1798 and later editions).

Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.

The notion of the population doubling every 25 years influenced Thomas Malthus, who quotes paragraph 22 of the essay, with attribution, in his 1802 work An Essay on the Principle of Population.

World population

human populationglobal populationworld's population
Essentially, for the first time, Malthus examined his own Principle of Population on a region-by-region basis of world population.
In his 1798 work An Essay on the Principle of Population, the British scholar Thomas Malthus incorrectly predicted that continued population growth would exhaust the global food supply by the mid-19th century.

Poor Law Amendment Act 1834

Poor Law Amendment ActNew Poor LawPoor Law
In the 1830s Malthus's writings strongly influenced Whig reforms which overturned Tory paternalism and brought in the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population set out the influential doctrine that population growth was geometric, and that, unless checked, population increased faster than the ability of a country to feed it.

William Cobbett

CobbettCobbett, WilliamWilliam Cobbet
Other theoretical and political critiques of Malthus and Malthusian thinking emerged soon after the publication of the first Essay on Population, most notably in the work of Robert Owen, of the essayist William Hazlitt (1807) and of the economist Nassau William Senior, and moralist William Cobbett.
In 1829, Cobbett published Advice To Young Men, in which he criticised An Essay on the Principle of Population by the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus.

On the Origin of Species

The Origin of SpeciesOrigin of SpeciesOn the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Darwin referred to Malthus as "that great philosopher", and said of his On the Origin of Species: "This is the doctrine of Malthus, applied with manifold force to the animal and vegetable kingdoms, for in this case there can be no artificial increase of food, and no prudential restraint from marriage".
In late September 1838, he started reading Thomas Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population with its statistical argument that human populations, if unrestrained, breed beyond their means and struggle to survive.

The Limits to Growth

Limits to GrowthDynamoecological limits
Other examples of work that has been accused of "Malthusianism" include the 1972 book The Limits to Growth (published by the Club of Rome) and the Global 2000 report to the then President of the United States Jimmy Carter.

Logistic function

logisticlogistic curvelogistic growth
The logistic function of Pierre François Verhulst (1804–1849) results in the S-curve.
The Verhulst equation was published after Verhulst had read Thomas Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population.

Exponential growth

exponentiallyexponentialgrow exponentially
The exponential nature of population growth is today known as the Malthusian growth model. The book warned of future difficulties, on an interpretation of the population increasing at a geometrical ratio (so as to double every 25 years) while an increase in food production was limited to an arithmetic ratio, which would leave a difference resulting in the want of food and famine, unless birth rates decreased.

Linear function

linearlinear factorlinear functions
The book warned of future difficulties, on an interpretation of the population increasing at a geometrical ratio (so as to double every 25 years) while an increase in food production was limited to an arithmetic ratio, which would leave a difference resulting in the want of food and famine, unless birth rates decreased.

Pre-industrial society

pre-industrialpre-industrial societiespre-modern societies
The rapid increase in the global population of the past century exemplifies Malthus's predicted population patterns; it also appears to describe socio-demographic dynamics of complex pre-industrial societies.

Hunger

hungrysatietyEnd hunger
At the same time, world hunger has been in decline.

English Poor Laws

poor lawpoor lawsEnglish Poor Law
Malthus highlighted the difference between governmentally instituted welfare and privately supported benevolence and proposed a gradual abolition of poor laws which he thought would be accompanied by a mitigation of the circumstances within which people would need relief and by privately supported benevolence supporting those in distress.