Thomas Robert Malthus
Thomas Robert Malthus an English economist demographist and reverend was born in Surrey England in the year 1776. His father was a family man and correspondent of famous Jean Jacques Roseau. Robert Malthus did not attend any public but his education was through private tutors, in the year 1784 he was sent to go for studies in Cambridge. Malthus attained his masters’ degree in Jesus College and before heading to Cambridge .during, his early years in Cambridge he made friends and undertook charge of small parish in his home town of Surrey. He started publishing books and his first book based on the influence of population on the improvement of the society brought him great fame among scholars. His work was exhaustive and contained all the information needed in the process of verification. At that time, Britain was in war with the French and only northern countries of Europe could access in research.
In 1803 Malthus published his edition of work and got married in 1805 , this was followed by his appointment as a professor of modern history In east India company college at Haileybury. His father shared Godwin and Condorcet theories respectively and this elicited reaction from Malthus, which differed from his father in that a society will never be perfect it is always truck with miseries. His father promoted his work and encouraged him to publish them.
The originality of the work and weight it had philosophical and was a corrective reaction opposed to Rousseau’s school of superficial optimism. The features that Malthus undertook in handling history, demography and social life are quite impressive. Malthus introduced moral restraint as a preventive check in 1803 gave a soft review on his previous radical conclusions. In his work, he explained the relations between population increase and food. The idea came from a preposition that food increased arithmetically while population increased in a geometrical manner. In his argument, food was an essential commodity for humans and was increasing arithmetically hence at some point in time the population increase would lead to starvation. In this context, Malthus proposed some positive checks on the population to grow in an exponential manner in order to match the food available. In his work, he explained using an example of the United States, which by then was still new. It showed that with the fertile soil arithmetic increase in agricultural production would lead to population increase as birth rates increased. Preventive restraints put forth by Malthus included moral restraint or marrying later, birth control and abstinence. According to Malthus, positive checks were those that increased death rates, which included war, disaster and famine. Famine became one of the major control measures, as people feared siring children knowing that they will starve.
Welfare reforms were key agendas on Roberts mind, he advocated for change of laws to provide a system where money in the system was shared based on the number of children in the family. Socially this was a good move in that people could manage to feed and cater for other family needs. In his work, he stated that although the system of giving money based on number of children encouraged the poor to give birth, as they would not care. Increase in birth rates meant that cost reduced but on the other hand, it would make the poor poorer. Based on the strategy giving money to every individual would reduce the value of money immensely. Hence, Malthus encouraged capitalism as an economist and that this was the only functional system in such a society. The ideas Malthus put forth were relevant during the industrial revolution, as land became a limiting factor to population growth. Many people acknowledge Malthus as patron saint of demography; this is because most of his work touched people in social, economical and political lives. He made demographics one of the subjects of study in schools, and became one of the figure influential figures in politics, economics, science and social sciences. Malthus unfortunately died in 1834 after he succumbed to a heart attack. Malthus remains to be one of the most candid, amiable and cultured man. He indulged in pointing out the problems in the society and how to cope or deal with them which brought him a lot of criticism.
Influential People: Antoine Lavoisier - David Ricardo - Dmitri Mendeleev - Emile Durkheim - Erik Erikson - Ernest Rutherford - Francisco Pizarro - Friedrich Nietzsche - Guglielmo Marconi - Herman Melville - Howard Carter - Jean Piaget - Johannes Kepler - John Dewey - Mark Antony - Michael Faraday - Niels Bohr - Pierre Curie - Richard Feynman - Robert Browning - Thomas Malthus