Thomas Malthus, English Economist and Sociologist

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) was an English Anglican economist, sociologist and cleric whose social and economic thinking revolved around his theory of population growth, which he said while livelihoods grow in arithmetic progression, the population grows in geometric progression and birth control is needed.

Thomas Malthus was born in Dorbing, England, on February 13, 1766. The son of a wealthy landowner, a friend of philosopher David Hume, and a faithful follower of Jean-Jacques philosophy. Rousseau Malthus was initially educated at home, and only in 1784, at the age of 18, he entered the Jesus College of Cambridge, where he graduated in 1788. In 1791 he obtained his degree. In 1797 he was ordained priest of the Anglican Church.

Thomas Malthus Theory

In 1798, Thomas Malthus anonymously published the first edition of "Essays on the Population Principle." The book was born as a result of Malthus's speeches with his father, who, influenced by philosopher William Gowin, claimed that misery was a consequence of the poor performance of the institutions and that the land could only feed all human beings if public assistance was improved. poor population to achieve greater social equality.

Malthus differed radically from this theory in that he believed that demographic growth was greater than the means of subsistence. arithmetic. Malthus realized that population growth had doubled between 1785 and 1790 as a result of the large food production, better sanitary conditions, and improved disease control as a result of the Industrial Revolution at the time.

Malthus believed that the unlimited increase in population could encounter two obstacles, one repressive that would be: epidemics, wars and misery, and the preventive ones that would be: The moral subjection of retarding marriage, abstaining from sex before marriage or in marriage itself, and having only as many children as they could support.

In 1803, the work was reedited with important modifications, softening some more radical theses of the first edition. Numerous authors have proved the incompatibility of the two progressions, especially after the adherents of "Malthusianism" exaggerated their principles. Over time, his theory was incorporated into economic theory, acting as a brake on more optimistic theses.

In 1805 Thomas Malthus began teaching History and Political Economy at Est Company 'College of Heileybury. In 1819 he was elected member of the Royal Society. In 1811, he met the already important economist David Ricardo, with whom he maintained great friendship, despite their theoretical differences. He published: “Principales of Political Economy” (1820) and “Definitions in Political Economy” (1827), among others.

Thomas Malthus died in Saint Catherine, Somerset, England, December 23, 1834.

In this article we talk a little more about Malthus and his theory.