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The Theory Of Population Pressure

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Chapter Summary

Theories were developed that accounted for the human condition in terms of natural processes. Among the most compelling theories serving such purposes was the principle of population, advanced by Thomas Robert Malthus. This theory explained poverty in terms of a supposed tendency on the part of all animated life to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it. The principle of population drew upon established facts about existing levels of industry and the possibilities with regard to food production, and set this knowledge against population statistics. Malthus wished only to attribute conditions of life to population pressure, and the latter to individual foresight, which he regarded as a key factor leading to the economic development in Europe. Marx and Engels treated Malthus's famous Essay on the Principle of Population as part of a much larger attempt to counter radical interpretations.

Keywords: Engels; Europe; Marx; Population Pressure; poverty; Theory



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