One hundred and fifty years later the advanced nations of Western Europe were to face a problem of declining numbers.
One hundred and fifty years before, Europe had a static population of approximately 100,000,000.
Moral restraint was the means by which the higher ranks of humans limited their family size in order not to dissipate their wealth among larger numbers of heirs.
For the lower ranks of humans, vice and birth control were the means by which their numbers could be limited - but Malthus believed that these were insufficient to limit the vast numbers of the poor.
If all income and wealth were distributed among them, it would be totally wasted within one generation because of profligate behaviour and population growth, and they would be as poor and destitute as ever.
Paternalistic attempts to help the poor were therefore highly likely to fail.In the last 150 years of statistical history the British Isles increased their population more than fourfold, while at the same time they contributed more than 17,500,000 people to the settlement of North America and the overseas Dominions.The Malthusian Theory of Population is a theory of exponential population growth and arithmetic food supply growth.Taking money from them to help the poor would deprive the world of culture.AN ESSAY ON THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION AS IT AFFECTS THE FUTURE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIETY, WITH REMARKS ON THE SPECULATIONS OF MR. But in 1798, when Europe's population of about 187,-000,000 was beginning to multiply -- and, despite vast migrations, was to reach a total of 550,000,000 -- the principles of population increase propounded in the "Essay" had a terrifying importance.It seemed obvious to him that something had to keep the population in check to prevent wholesale starvation.He said that there were two general kinds of checks that limited population growth: preventative checks and positive checks.The positive checks were famine, misery, plague and war; because preventative checks had not limited the numbers of the poor, Malthus thought that positive checks were essential to do that job.If positive checks were unsuccessful, then inevitably (he said), famine would be the resulting way of keeping the population down.we might probably every one of us marry at the age of puberty and yet few be absolutely starved. ] In Malthus' opinion, the masses were incapable of exercising moral restraint, which was the only real remedy for the population problem.They were therefore doomed to live always at bare subsistence level.