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buting to these accessions, consisting, as generally speaking they do, of individuals in the prime of life, and principally of young men only, the ordinary rate of increase of an entire population, comprising individuals of all ages, is pointed out; though the supposition is almost too absurd to require notice.

A variety of tables are subjoined; calculated on data which American statistics furnish, showing the pretended demonstration, that the population there increases in the ratio so often and so confidently asserted, is not true, nor even possible.

In the fourth book, the mis-statements of numerical facts, and errors in calculation, by which the theory I oppose is attempted to be supported, are exposed; one or two instances of which only shall be noticed in this place. Mr. Malthus, the main advocate of that principle, not satisfied with attributing to it many of the evils we suffer at present, invests it with powers of a far more dreadful nature than have been as yet developed; he says, "not more than one half of the prolific power of nature is called into action in this country*," intimating that, if nature were unchecked, "there would be one annual marriage out of sixty persons, instead of one marriage out of one hundred and twenty-three persons, as is the case at present." This is most strange, especially as he has, in his previous calculation, recollected * Essay, p. 304.

† Ibid.

that it requires two individuals to form one marriage; consequently, upon his supposition, one person would annually marry out of every thirty, whereas there is in England only one annual birth in every thirty-seven inhabitants; it follows, therefore, according to that author, that were it not for the operation of his "preventive check,” there would be about one-fourth more individuals married in this country than are born! If we turn to the census as divided into ages, and suppose the sexes between fifteen and twenty to be exactly balanced, and that all at that period of life should enter into the marriage state, it will be seen that only about one marriage in one hundred inhabitants could annually take place :-nay, if all were united at the font there could only be one in seventy-four. But the foregoing supposition is merely the echo of an opinion expressed by Dr. Franklin in his juvenile days, (from whom, indeed, the former professes to have partly derived his notions on population,) that in America there is one annual marriage to every fifty inhabitants; and, as it seems to be in the very nature of the arguments on human increase not to be easily satisfied, Mr. Warden has further improved this proportion into one in every thirty. Now it happens, that in the last American census there is a column given which expresses the number of the males from the ages of sixteen to eighteen, and if every individual of these were to marry at the mean age of seventeen years, only one marriage in

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eighty-six inhabitants could possibly take place*. Such are the errors into which writers on population fall on this important point, which it cannot but be acknowledged are so far from being slight and immaterial, that they are necessarily subversive of their entire theories and calculations. Other mistakes of quite as gross and obvious a nature, such as the supposed operation of the preventive check in different times and countries, the effects of epidemics upon registers, and on a variety of other subjects, are fully exposed, but will not be further alluded to on the present occasion.

Such is a slight sketch of the negative part of the argument, if I may so speak, by which the true and benevolent principle of population is supported; a system which it will be seen is, from first to last, inducted from a series of decisive facts which the history of the world uniformly presents, and sanctioned by the equally unanimous authority of the greatest and the wisest men it has ever produced. In a day, however, when past experience is but little regarded, and authority not at all; when an appeal to the ancient permanent sense of mankind would often actually prejudice a cause in behalf of which it is made, amongst the "pert and noisy pretenders of the day;" it is happy for the interests of human nature that the true principle of increase

* The superior longevity in England may account for the smaller relative proportion of possible marriages at about the same period of life in England.

is demonstrable upon a basis unassailable by such; ancient events may be misinterpreted or disputed; authorities may be neglected or despised; but still the principle announced can never be shaken;-it is not so much a matter of reason as of arithmetic; it rests not upon arguments, but upon facts.

To a short synopsis of the fifth book of the treatise, about to be published, the reader's particular attention is, therefore, solicited, as substituting a system in the place of the one dispossessed, and establishing it by a series of tables and calculations amounting in every instance to a proof of its truth. These, spreading over some hundred pages, cannot now be given, however essential to the argument; the author can, therefore, only stake his veracity to the reader for the truth of the statements about to be alluded to, a pledge which he hopes speedily to redeem; and it is a matter of doubt with him whether any thing further than the heads of the ensuing argument need to have been given on the present occasion.

The law of population, by which the increase of mankind has been and still is, in all cases, regulated, is simply this: THE FECUNDITY OF

HUMAN BEINGS, UNDER EQUAL CIRCUMSTANCES,
VARIES INVERSELY AS THEIR NUMBERS ON
GIVEN SPACE.

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Merely premising that, as mankind multiply in any country, the thinly-populated districts become more crowded ones, and these again

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rise into towns and cities, and vice versa on any diminution in their numbers: I proceed to demonstrate the truth and reality of this graduated scale of human increase.

First, By a comparison of the fecundity of marriages in different countries, all of which, where the necessary information is recorded, class themselves in precise conformity with this principle, and are the more prolific the less they are peopled. The objection that, in the latter case, greater plenty prevails, and marriages are more frequent and more early, is anticipated and refuted. The contrary is strictly the fact*.

2. By showing that in the different local divisions of one and the same country, the same law of population prevails; and the varying fecundity of the marriages is determined accordingly. This section of the argument is of peculiar importance, as it not only shows ts operation by a series of more minute and particular proofs; but, at the same time, it entirely obviates the objection which might be raised, and not unreasonably, in reference to the comparative accuracy with which different countries may furnish the data on which the

* The apparent exception of newly-planted countries and colonies which had the advantage of proceeding from more densely peopled nations, and still retain the benefit of having access to such for their products, is fully considered. Cut such off, even now, from the latter privilege only, and left to themselves, the rule of nature, which distributes the greatest measure of its bounties wherever there are the greatest number of human beings on the same space, would be instantly apparent. The reason why it is, to a certain degree, otherwise in Ireland, it is one of the prime objects of this publication to point out.

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