Thomas Malthus is an 18th century British scientist, economist, author of numerous works on economics and political economy, and holder of the holy dignity. He created his own famous theory of overpopulation of the planet, its causes and consequences. The theory of Thomas Malthus was approved by Charles Darwin himself. The scientist owes many scientific achievements to his intelligence and diligence.
Thomas Malthus's childhood
Thomas Robert Malthus was born on February 13 (according to other sources February 14) 1766 in Rookery, a country house in Surrey, UK.
Thomas was the sixth of seven children (in addition to him, Sydenham, Henrietta Sarah, Eliza Maria, Anne Catherine Lucy, Mary Catherine Charlotte grew up in the family). Thomas's youngest sister, Mary Ann Catherine, was born in 1771. He would later become the mother of Louise Bray, who would write an unpublished memoir about the life of Thomas Malthus.
The mother of a large family, Henrietta, was attached to her sons and daughters. She had a condescending nature and was loved by her children.
According to Louise Bray's recollections, Daniel's father was a kind of person with eccentric views. In her memoirs, Bray wrote: “He had a fairly developed mind and amazing manners. However, he was also cold and withdrawn with his family. He paid special attention to the eldest daughter and the youngest son, in whom, perhaps, he saw talented abilities."
Daniel knew and was in correspondence with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. When Thomas was three weeks old, Daniel met personally with the Geneva philosopher. This happened after Rousseau and David Hume, due to the political situation in France at the end of the 18th century, had to hide in Britain.
Thomas Malthus's education
As a child, Thomas was educated at home by his own father. Subsequently, when the boy was 10 years old, he was transferred to study with the teacher Richard Graves, who lost the trust of his family by marrying a lower class girl.
As he grew older, Thomas was admitted to Warrington Academy in Lancashire.
However, in 1783, the school was closed, and Thomas had to transfer to Cambridge Jesus College. There Malthus studied the clergy, as well as mathematics and philosophy. Thomas took his studies quite seriously, showing a keen interest in subjects. Also, the young man was distinguished by a sharp mind and tried to look good. Sometimes Toms stood out among his peers, dusting the wig with pink powder, not white.
From birth, Thomas had a small defect - a "cleft lip", and as a result - problems with speech. According to the college of teachers of the college, this reduced Malthus's chances of advancing in the clergy's career. However, Thomas ignored the words of the leadership and, thanks to his academic success, was able to acquire the holy order and taught at Okuwood for some time.
Malthus returned to Jesus College in 1793 as a fellow. From biographical sources, little is known about the life of Thomas Malthus between 1788 and 1798. This time was full of political unrest and unrest. In 1793, Louis XVI was guillotined and France declared war on England.
"Essay on the Law of Population" by Thomas Malthus
His early work focused on the political and economic issues of his time. In the 18th century, there was a utopia that society is constantly growing and improving. In contrast, Thomas Malthus put forward his own hypothesis about the dangers of excessive population growth, which is why the scientist was not understood and considered a pessimist.
Perhaps the main work of Thomas Malthus was devoted to the question of population. He traveled across countries and collected statistics on the number of births and deaths, the ages of marriage and conception, and economic factors that contribute to longevity.
Thomas Malthus made a connection between available goods and population growth. In his opinion, the population of the planet is increasing in accordance with the geometric, and economic benefits and means of subsistence - with an arithmetic progression.
However, it is possible to influence the population size. Malthus believed that late marriages, emigration, moral abstinence, as well as wars, epidemics, diseases, hunger, etc. can become such factors.
Famous scientists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace have appreciated the work of Thomas Malthus. They recognized the great merit of Malthus in the formation of their own ideas about the theory of evolution, in particular, natural selection.
But not everyone took the essay of Thomas Malthus positively. Many condemned him in cruelty, calling him a prophet of the death of mankind and an enemy of the working class.
Thomas Malthus's theory is still widely discussed today. It is generally accepted that the scientist's hypothesis is interesting, but not without its drawbacks.
Personal life and subsequent career
In April 1804, Malthus, at the age of 38, married his cousin Garriet Eckersell. The couple had three children.
Thomas Malthus has taken over the Chair of the Department of Contemporary History and Political Economy at the College of the West Indies.
He continued to publish his own works, such as Principles of Political Economy, Grain Restriction Policy.
Malthus was admitted to the Royal Society in 1818 and also became a member of the French Academy and the London Statistical Society.
Death of Thomas Malthus
Thomas Malthus suddenly fell ill and died on December 29, 1834 after a Christmas visit to his parents. He was buried in Bath Abbey Cemetery.
His youngest son died at the age of 17, and the other two, Henry and Emily, had a late family and had no children.