Analysis Of Thomas Robert Malthus ' An Essay On The Principle Of Population

1097 Words Oct 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
As the capitalist system came to fruition, the early classical economists of this time developed categories to analyze this system. Thomas Robert Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, and David Ricardo’s On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation attempt to explain the newly integrated world while criticising the mercantilist ideas that the European countries had adopted during this period of time. The contrast between mercantilism and classical economists focuses on wealth being tied to gold vs. exchanging goods of value through trade. These early economists were aware of the negative externalities of that the trade system had introduced into the lives of working people, but often justified the concepts due to efficiency or sustainability.
In Thomas Robert Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), the author highlights the issue of overpopulation and food production restraints. From this, Malthus explains that the power of population is far greater than the power to provide food to man and proposes that "population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence” (Medema 200). Malthus goes into further detail, modeling an arithmetic subsistence production against a geometric population growth. He then describes the checks that help keep population in order, preventative and positive. Preventative checks are the “foresight of the difficulties attending the rearing of a family”…

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