Thomas Malthus was an English philosopher who lived from 1766 to 1834, An Essay on the Principle of Population, is one of the most influential pieces of writing in history. Not only did it help to establish the modern field of economics, it aided Charles Darwin on his regarding evolutionary science. Malthus’ core argument that runs a majority of the book is dedicated to the ‘Iron Law of Population’. This essay will seek to examine the premises of Thomas Malthus’ 1798 an Essay on the Principle of Population and conclude on its argument as well as provide a justification of the invalidity of the argument. In addition, it will identify its multiple influences on historical contexts throughout time.
On the other hand, Thomas Malthus had little hope for the future. He believed that the world’s population will increase faster than the production of food. The human race, he believed, would starve and there would be periods of chaos. Malthus said that the population increases at an exponential rate, nearly doubling amount. There is no way food growth would be able to catch up with population growth. Malthus’ solution was “War, Famine, and Plagues”. He believed that was the only way to decrease population and hopefully salvage the human race. These events would increase death rates liberating the world of disaster. Malthus tried to persuade lower classes form creating children and from marriage. At that time the lower classes were considered to be given higher wages, which would increase the makings of children and marriages. Thomas Malthus pleaded with everyone to make a change in order to decrease population.
In 1798 utilitarian Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population as an argument against an utopian society based on social and economic equality. Malthus believed that if the human population is left unchecked then the population would outgrow the resources necessary to maintain the population. Malthus’s argued that the population will continue to grow and the burden will unavoidably put on the poor population. However, the inequality of population would be a good thing in terms of controlling the population.
K.H. Connell, in his paper “Land and Population in Ireland, 1780-1845”, describes and explains the significant population growth in Ireland prior to the famine of 1845 and how the uses of the Irish land changed with the population growth.
Dr. Forsyth implements plenty of evidence as well as proven statistics to back up his outlook on these issues. The growth of human population is happening at an exponential rate, implying that in a short period of time population growth will double. “We find it difficult to comprehend exponential growth, but it may prove to be our fatal blind spot” . When analysing the world’s population over a long period of time, it took roughly 19,000 years for the world’s population to go from 5million people to 500 million people in 1500 A.D.  With an estimated population of 7.5 billion people , for a period less than 1000 years, population increased more than 1500 times its size than it was in the 1500’s. In addition, on a more minute scale of time, in 1950 the world’s population was roughly 2.5 billion people  in merely 50 years the world’s population has tripled. With these statics, it is evident that the world’s population is increasing at an incomprehensive rate. With populations at their peak, overconsumption is another problem this world faces, as Dr. Forsyth affirms “humans consume far more than their fair share of the Earth’s natural productivity.” Due to this over consumption of resources, there is a vast demand for cheap food which results in the clear cutting of large forest to generate room for new plantations of food. When doing so, humans destroy habitats that
In his essay called An Essay on the Principle of Population , the English political economist Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), stated that since production increased arithmetically
No matter how many people do claim overpopulation is not a relevant issue, it very much is because of the simple fact that starvation and pollution are very real and existing issues that are ultimately offset by overpopulation. In an article titled “Overpopulation Is Not the Problem,” author Erle C. Ellis uses the analogy “Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences,” to argue that overpopulation is not a problem by stating the opposing claim. “We are nothing like bacteria in a petri dish,” Mr. Ellis solemnly asserts, “...these claims demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the ecology of human systems. The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been. Since prehistory, human populations have used technologies and engineered ecosystems to sustain
During the late 1700s, Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus each entered their predictions on the future of the world’s economies into the history books. In his writings in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Smith theorized that national economies could be continuously improved by means of the division of labor, efficient production of goods, and international trade. In An Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Malthus predicted that the sustainable production of food in relation to population was vital to the mere existence of national economies in order to ensure an able labor force. Smith believed that the success or
The increasing human population and its impact on the world we live in has always been a prominent topic of discourse throughout history. A common theme that originates from human population is food scarcity. However, is an increasing population necessarily interrelated with food scarcity? Naturally, polarising perspectives on this subject will arise. Some are rather pessimistic and look at extreme population control measures, such as the neo-Malthusian angle that J. Kenneth Smail expresses in his aptly named essay: Remembering Malthus: A preliminary Argument for a Significant Reduction in Global Human Numbers (2002). Other angles on the subject are a bit more hopeful such as the views expressed
It is difficult to examine the question of the division of labor within the household in Malthus’ writings as it seems to be entirely outside the scope of his work. Though his conclusions are predicated on the relationship between men and women, from reading his writing one has the distinct impression that women are not really a factor. In spite of this, an examination of the implications inherent in Malthus’ analysis is revealing of some basic assumptions he makes regarding the economic role of women. With particular regard to the question of agency within the marriage, Malthus’ arguments and conclusions are in opposition to the arguments put forth by
Malthus failed to see that poor countries would have very high growing populations as well, because of the diffusion of medical technology from wealthy countries. This caused and even bigger gap in resources than Malthus had predicted. Malthus’s beliefs also have some criticism from a variety of perspectives. People have issues with both the the population growth and the depleting resources sides of Malthus’s story. Critics say that Malthus’s idea on resources are too pessimistic. Critics say that Malthus’s idea predicts that resources will forever remain the same, and not expand. Critics also do not agree on Malthus’s thoughts on population growth. Many people do not see population growth as a problem, instead, they see it as a way to help boost our economy, and produce more
Thomas Robert Malthus is one of the most controversial figures in the history of economics. He achieved fame chiefly from the population doctrine that is now closely linked with his name. Contrary to the late-eighteenth-century views that it was possible to improve people’s living standards, Malthus held that any such improvements would cause the population to grow and thereby reverse these gains. Malthus also sparked controversy with his contemporaries on issues of methodology (by arguing that economics should be an empirical rather than a deductive science), over questions of theory (by holding that economies can experience prolonged bouts of high unemployment), and on policy issues (by arguing against free
In his 1798 Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Malthus defended the proposition that, “had population and food increased in the same ratio, it is probable that man might never have emerged from the savage state.” Labeled a ‘Malthusian trap’ after the demographer’s work, the theoretical principle holds that, because population increases exponentially, while agricultural output increases arithmetically, periodic premature deaths among the population will be caused by a lack of sustenance. Had a population never overcome the reoccurring demographic trap of an equal increase in food and population, Malthus contends, the life of man as a subsistence farmer would continue to be, as succinctly
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. His work, though unpopular, and often proven to be off the mark, did in fact bring to the forefront many socio-economic issues that are still being debated today: population control, food production and concerns over uncontrollable diseases arising from the effects of over-population. In this passage it is stated that Malthus was proven wrong: “...Malthus’ dire predictions have proven to be wrong...” (Efficiency and Equity 211). However, though his calculations have proven to be wrong because he could not accurately account for the