Thomas Robert Malthus Essay Research Paper Malthus

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Thomas Robert Malthus Essay, Research Paper Malthus was an English economist, sociologist, and pioneer in modern population study. In addition, he was an English clergyman and political economist; he was the originator of Malthusian population theory. Broadly stated, Malthusian theory holds that human and other populations will increase until checked by natural limitations, principally to do with food supply. Thomas Robert Malthus was born in 1766 in Dorking, just south of London England to Daniel and Henrietta Malthus. He had seven siblings, one brother (Sydenham) and six sisters (Harriet, Eliza Maria, Anne, Catharine Lucy, Mary Catherine Charlotte, Mary Anne Catherine, and another that is not documented). His father, Daniel Malthus, was a Jacobin and knew Voltaire,

Rousseau, and Hume. When Malthus was a young child, Hume brought Rousseau to their home, he was then known as ?The Rookery.? Malthus was impressed by their ideas and he was influenced by their presence. As a boy, Malthus was educated privately by Richard Graves. His father took an active role in his education and constantly looked over the teaching methods of his tutors. When Malthus turned eighteen, in 1784, he started attending College at Cambridge. He did well at Cambridge despite having a marked speech impediment. While at College Malthus became a curate, or clergyman in charge of a parish, in the Church of England. In about 1796, he took up his parochial duties at Albury, Surrey, all the while living with his father Daniel. In 1804, twenty years after starting college,

Malthus got married. This meant that he had to leave the Cambridge, which had been a safe haven for his early years in life. His marriage was a happy one and he had three children. In 1805, he got a job as a professor at Haileybury College. He taught Political economy in the college which was owned and run by the general education of civil servants of the East India Company. He lived a placid existence as a scholar and teacher at Haileybury College. All of his students called him ‘Pop’. Malthus was a political economist who was concerned about, what he saw as, the decline of living conditions in nineteenth century England. He blamed this decline on three elements: the overproduction of young; the inability of resources to keep up with the rising human population; and the

irresponsibility of the lower classes. To combat this, Malthus suggested the family size of the lower class ought to be regulated such that poor families could not produce more children than they can support. Does this sound familiar? China has implemented such a measure on family size. Malthus was best known for his assertion that the power of population is greater than the power of the earth to produce subsistence for that population. In his ?An Essay on the Principle of Population? he theorized that population grew geometrically-1-2-4-8-16–while food grew arithmetically-1-2-3-4-5. He argued about the destructive potential of unbridled population growth and about the inevitable out come of such growth. He predicted a nightmare of famine, pestilence, and war if the population

was not checked. Originally, he accepted war, famine, and disease as checks on population growth, but in his revised work, he admitted also that ‘moral restraint’ was an acceptable preventative check. Even though Malthus thought famine and poverty were natural outcomes, he believed the real reason for those outcomes was divine institution. He believed that such natural outcomes were God’s way of preventing laziness. Both Darwin and Wallace formed similar theories of natural selection after reading the writings of Malthus. They used his principles in purely natural terms, in both outcome and ultimate reason. They extended Malthus’ logic further than he could ever take it himself. That is not all there is to it, of course; his theories hold enough permutations and