"Principles of the Population" is a book written by Thomas Malthus and it was first published in 1798. The book has 19 chapters and every chapter addresses various issues related to the aspect of population. The book was widely regarded at the most influential book on population during its era (Malthus, 1798).This was the first book to underline that, in general, there are very powerful checks and balances that operate continuously to ensure that the human population does not increase to surpass the available food supplies. Essentially, Malthus reiterated that that the human population was going to grow geometrically and food supply was to increase mathematically. The essay critically examines the tendency of humans to outstrip or exceed the available resources and there are checks in the form of disease, poverty and starvation, which are very essential in ensuring that the human population does not outgrow its means of subsistence. In this paper, I will provide a critical review of Malthus essay on the Principle of Population (Malthus, 1798).
As aforementioned, the book has 19 chapters. The first and the second chapters seek to outline Malthus principle of population and the uneven nature of the supply and distribution of food. The human population grows in an exponential nature and this aspect of its growth today referred to as the Malthusian growth model (Malthus, 1798). This view of Malthus' Principle of Population and his reiteration and the supply is linear are consistent in his subsequent essays. Chapter 3 of the book explores the challenges posed to the Roman Empire by the barbarians because of population pressure. This chapter critically examines the aspect of war as a way of keeping the population in check. Chapter 4 explores the current population pressure that is witnessed in the civilized nations with an emphasis on Europe, which is more populous today than in the time of Julius Cesar (Malthus, 1798). Chapter 5 examines and explores the poor laws that were proposed by Younger and Pitt.
The sixth chapter explores the rapid population growth witnessed in the new colonies such as most of the former thirteen colonies of the United States. This chapter examines the reasons for their rapid increase and the rapidity with which they some of the old states recover from the ravage of pestilence, war, famine or other natural calamities (Malthus, 1798). Malthus underlines that while the population growth occurs in a geometrical manner, the food supplies increase arithmetically, and as the general supplies become inadequate, the size of the population is controlled by misery, which may be in the form of disease and famine. Chapter 7 explores the various means through which the human population is checked. The aspects that are thought to check the population include famine, pestilence, war and disease (Malthus, 1798).
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Chapter 8 explores the principle of "principle error" which was postulated by Wallace. Wallace reiterated that the challenges and difficulties that might arise from the increase in population are still very far away. Chapters 16 and 17 examine the aspect of state wealth (Malthus, 1798). Further, these chapters explore the reasons why states are wealthy and how they get their wealth. In these chapters, Richard Price and Adam Smith are violently criticised. Generally, this chapter provide a succinct comparison between the English wealth and the Chinese poverty. Chapters 18 and 19 seek to explore the problem of evil with regard to natural theology. Moreover, the world is perceived as a very "mighty process of awakening matter" (Malthus, 1798).
In my own opinion, the human desire for invention and expansion will always be greater than the average capacity to produce for their substance. The Principle of Population as posited by Malthus is indeed being witnessed in the contemporary society. There has been constant pressure on land and resources in the Asian and African nations. The overall result may be widespread conflict, famine, diseases and plagues. Moreover, experts are already indicating that global warming might have very serious consequences on the world, if not controlled. The world is already experiencing change in climatic patterns, reduced food supplies and drought. Some of these factors may lead to a decrease in agricultural production, which may lead to "misery". Malthus theory may materialize in the near future and it is incumbent upon all policy makers in all countries to ensure that all these factors are put into consideration to avert an impending fulfilment of the Malthusian predictions.
In conclusion, the Malthusian Principle of Population was written in 1798 and its underlying principle was that the population increased faster than the average supply of food and other resources. He posits that the increase in food that is connected to advanced technology may lead to higher population growth rates. Eventually, populations would stabilize by death, drought, war, famine and disease. The book critically examines the tendency of humans to outstrip or exceed the available resources and there are checks in the form of disease, poverty and starvation, which are very essential in ensuring that the human population does not outgrow its means of subsistence.
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