Two Lectures on the Checks to Population
CHECKS TO POPULATION,
THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
IN MICHAELMAS TERM 1832.
THE REV. W. F. LLOYD, M.A.
STUDENT OP CHRIST CHURCH,
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.
PRINTED BY S. COLLINGWOOD, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY,
FOR THE AUTHOR.
SOLD BY J. H. PARKER, OXFORD;
AND BY J. G. AND F. RIVINGTON, LONDON.
The following Lectures are published, in obedience to that clause of the Statute establishing this Professorship, which directs, that the Professor, in each year, shall print and publish one Lecture, at the least. They are not, therefore, offered to the public as an entire treatise: and the circumstance of their having formed the conclusion of a course will account (satisfactorily, it is hoped) for the abruptness of the beginning. With respect to the previous Lectures, it may be sufficient to mention, that, the most material of the propositions contained in them, related to the great rapidity with which an unchecked population (proceeding naturally in geometrical progression) would multiply; while the capacity of the soil, besides being absolutely confined within comparatively narrow limits, can be called forth into the service of man, only by slow degrees depending on the gradual progress of civilization and knowledge. These propositions granted, the foundation is prepared, for the question which forms the subject of the published Lectures.
For, supposing it established, that the increase of food cannot be made to keep pace with the natural course of population, it becomes interesting to consider, by what means the conﬂict of these principles may be mitigated, in a manner the most conducive to happiness, and least productive of misery to mankind. The equilibrium between food and population must, in one way or other, be maintained. Our only alternative lies between the evils arising from an actual insufficiency of food on the one hand, or the preventive operation of human prudence on the other. And to the latter of these I have principally directed my inquiry.