Thomas Robet Malthus
BY Cesar Martinez
He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe. that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible
He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society: "
"The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man"
As a cleric, Malthus saw this situation as divinely imposed to teach virtuous behaviour.
Malthus placed the longer-term stability of the economy above short-term expediency.
He criticized the Poor Laws,and alone among important contemporary economists) supported the Corn Laws,
which introduced a system of taxes on British imports of wheat
His views became influential, and controversial, across economic, political, social and scientific thought. Pioneers of evolutionary biology read him, notably Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.
Early life and education
He was the seventh child of Daniel and Henrietta Malthus,[
Robert Malthus grew up in The Rookery, a country house in Westcott, near Dorking in Surrey.
Petersen describes Daniel Malthus as "a gentleman of good family and independent means
The young Malthus received his education at home in Bramcote, Nottinghamshire, and then at the Warrington Academy from 1782.
Warrington was a dissenting academy, then at the end of its existence
closed in 1783. Malthus continued for a period to be tutored by Gilbert Wakefield who had taught him there.
Malthus entered Jesus College, Cambridge in 1784. There he took prizes in English declamation, Latin and Greek, and graduated with honours, Ninth Wrangler in mathematics.
He took the MA degree in 1791, and was elected a Fellow of Jesus College two years later
In 1789, he took orders in the Church of England, and became a curate at Oakwood Chapel (also Okewood) in the parish of Wotton, Surrey
In 1798, Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), a British clergyman and economist, published the "Essay on the Principle of Population," which argued that population multiplies geometrically and food arithmetically. Therefore, the population will outstrip the food supply.
Malthus came to prominence for his 1798 essay on population growth
Between 1798 and 1826 he published six editions of An Essay on the Principle of Population, updating each edition to incorporate new material, to address criticism, and to convey changes in his own perspectives on the subject.
He wrote the original text in reaction to the optimism of his father and his father's associates (notably Rousseau) regarding the future improvement of society. 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 1799 Malthus made a European tour with William Otter, a close college friend, travelling part of the way with Edward Daniel Clarke and John Marten Cripps, visiting Germany, Scandinavia and Russia. Malthus used the trip to gather population data. Otter later wrote a Memoir of Malthus for the second (1836) edition of his Principles of Political Economy. During the Peace of Amiens of 1802 he travelled to France and Switzerland, in a party that included his relation and future wife Harriet.[
In 1803 he became rector of Walesby, Lincolnshire.
On 13 March 1804 Malthus married Harriet, daughter of John Eckersall of Claverton House, St. Catherine's, near Bath, Somerset. They had a son and a daughter. The son, Henry, became vicar of Effingham, Surrey, in 1835, and of Donnington, West Sussex, in 1837. He died in August 1882, aged 76.
In 1805 Malthus became Professor of History and Political Economy at the East India Company College in Hertfordshire. His students affectionately referred to him as "Pop" or "Population" Malthus.
Thomas Robert Malthus Born 14 February 1766 Surrey, England Died 29 December 1834 (aged 68) Bath, England
Type text here