Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/10

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Malthus
Malthus
4

development. In his own time Malthus's theory was exposed to much abuse and misrepresentation. He was attacked on one side by the whole revolutionary school, Godwin, Hazlitt, and Cobbett; and on the other, for rather different reasons, by the conservatives, especially such 'sentimental' conservatives as Coleridge and Southey. The 'Edinburgh Review' had supported Malthus; while the 'Quarterly,' after attacking him in 1812, had come round to him as an opponent of its worst enemies (see Bonar, p. 364). Among the opponents to whom Malthus himself replied may be noticed Godwin, who attacked him again in 1820, James Grahame ('Enquiry into the Principle of Population,' 1816, which gives a list of previous writers at p. 71), John Weyland ('Principles of Population,' 1816), Arthur Young, and Robert Owen. A review by Southey in Aikin's 'Annual Review' for 1803 embodies notes by Coleridge in a copy of the second edition now in the British Museum (see Bonar, p. 374. Southey and Coleridge were living together at Keswick when the review was written. Southey claims the review, Life, &c,., 1850, ii. 251, 284, 294). Among others maybe mentioned W. Hazlitt's 'Reply to Malthus,' 1807; Michael T. Sadler's 'Treatise on the Law of Population' (1830), answered by Macaulay in the ' Edinburgh Review' for July 1830, and again, in answer to a reply from Sadler, in the 'Edinburgh' for January 1831 (Macaulay, Miscellaneous Writings); Poulett Scrope, 'Principles of Political Economy' (1833); Archibald Alison, 'Population' (1840); and Thomas Doubleday, 'True Law of Population' (1842). Attacks by later socialists are in Marx's 'Capital' and Mr. Henry George's 'Progress and Poverty.' An argument as to the final cause of Malthus's law, which agrees in great part with a similar argument (afterwards omitted) in the first essay, was expounded by J. B. Sumner (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury) in 'A Treatise on the Records of Creation … with particular reference … to the consistency of the principle of population with the wisdom and goodness of the Deity' (2 vols. 8vo, 1816).

Malthus's works are:

  1. 'Essay on the Principle of Population as it affects the future Improvement of Society' (anon.) 1798. The title in the second edition (1803) is, 'Essay on the Principle of Population, or a View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness, with an Enquiry into our Prospects respecting the future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it occasions. The third edition (1806) contains various alterations mentioned in the preface; the fourth (1807) is apparently a reprint of the third; the fifth (1817) recasts the articles upon rent; the sixth (and last in his lifetime) appeared in 1826. A seventh edition was published in 1872; and an edition, with life, analysis, &c., by G. T. Bettany, in 1890.
  2. 'On the High Price of Provisions,' 1800.
  3. 'Letter to Samuel Whitbread, M.P., on his proposed Bill for the Amendment of the Poor Laws,' 1807.
  4. 'Letter to Lord Granville …' (in defence of Haileybury), 1813.
  5. 'Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws,' 1814.
  6. 'Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn,' 1815.
  7. 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Progress of Rent, Principles by which it is regulated,' 1815.
  8. 'Statements respecting the East India College …' (fuller explanation of No. 4), 1817.
  9. 'Principles of Political Economy considered with a View to their Practical Application,' 1820 (2nd ed. revised, with memoir by Otter, 1836).
  10. 'The Measure of Value stated and illustrated, with an Application of it to the Alteration in the Value of the English Currency since 1790,' 1823.
  11. Article on 'Population' in supplement to the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica,' 1824; reissued with little alteration as 'Summary View of the Principle of Population,' 1830.
  12. 'On the Measure of the Conditions necessary to the Supply of Commodities,' 1825, and 'On the Meaning which is most usually and most correctly attached to the term Value of Commodities,' 1827, two papers in the 'Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature.'
  13. 'Definitions in Political Economy,' 1827.

Malthus contributed to the 'Edinburgh Review' of July 1808 an article upon Newenham's ' Population of Ireland,' and some others (see Empson), including probably an article upon the bullion question in February 1811. He wrote another upon the same question in the 'Quarterly Review' of April 1823 (see Bonar, p. 285), and reviewed McCulloch's 'Political Economy' in the 'Quarterly' for January 1824. A correspondence with Malthus, which forms the appendix to two lectures on population by N. W. Senior (1829), is of some importance in regard to Malthus's opinions.

[Malthus and his Work, by James Bonar, 1885, gives a full and excellent account of Malthus's life and works, with references to all the authorities. The chief original authorities for the biography are a life by W. Otter, afterwards bishop of Chichester, prefixed to the second edition of the Political Economy (1836), and an article by Empson in the Edinburgh Review for January 1837, pp. 469-506. See also Miss Martineau's Autobiography, i. 209-11, 327-9; Homer's Me-