Thursday, August 20, 2009
Malthusian Theory of Population
The most important theory in the history of demography was Presented by Thomas Robert Malthus (1766 – 1834). Among his most important works was his famous Essay on Population entitled: An Essay on The Principle of Population as It effects the future improvement of society, with Remarks on the Speculation of Mr. Godwin, M Condor Cuts. This essay was Published anonymously. It how ever, became one of the most controversial books of modern times, and brought both hounar and criticism to the author. It importance as a land mark in the history of population can be Judged by study of population doctrines.
Malthus started his Essay by laying down two Populalationes: “First, the food is necessary to the existence of man”. “Secondly, the Position between the sexes is necessary of and will remain nearly in its Present state”. He argund, “Assuming they may Postulate as granted, say that Power of Population is definitely greater than the Power in the earth to Produce subsistence for me. Population, when unchecked increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A salight acquaintance for with number will show the immensity of the first power in compertion with the second”. The following Proposition were put for the by Malthus, to establish his theory.
1. Population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence.
2. Population invariably increases where the means of subsistence increase unless Prevented by some very power full and obvious checks.
3. These cheacks, and the cheacks wich repress the superior power of population and its effect on a level with the means of subsistence, are all resolvable into moral restraint, vice and misery. “There for Matlhus concluded. Thinking the whole earth the human species would increase as them number.
1, 2, 3, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and the substance as number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 in two centuries, the population would be to the means of subsistence as 256 to 8….. Malthus recognised that the growth of population does not go uncheaked. Pointing out powerful cheacks on the growth population. He said, “The first of these the cheacks may, with propriety, be called the preventive cheaks to population, and the absoulute necessity of their operation in the case supposed is as certain and absolute necessity. As that man cannot live with out”. Now in order to cheacks such as epidemics, wars and famines, Malthus suggested moral restraints as the best Preventive check. He described it as “Abstinence from marrage, either for a time or permanently, from prdenitail, consideration, with a strictty moral conduct towards the sex in the interval. And this the only mode of Keeping population on a level with the means of subsistence which is perfectly consistent with virture and happiness”. Vice was described as, “a short of intercourse which renders some of women of large towns un prolific”. Such as prostitution and extra-marital sexual relations, the preventive checks were necessary in order to avoid positive checks which tended to shorten human life. These positive checks have been described by Malthus. Such un whole some occupations severe labour and exposure to the seasons-bad and insufficient food and clothing from poverty-bad nursing of children-excesses of all kinds-great town and manufactories the whole train of common diseases and epidemics-wars, infanticides plague, famine”. Malthus was against poor laws since he considered poverty as an evil. He classified positive checks also into two categories.
The first were those brought about by natural cases an at labelled as exclusively nisery’ such as epidemics, famines e.t.c. the other positive checks were whose which mankind brought upon it self by it self such as wars and all types of excesses which could have been avoided.
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