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Unformatted text preview: Malthusian theory The field of demography arose two centuries ago in response to the population growth of that day. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834), English economist and clergyman, argued that increases in population, if left unchecked, would eventually result in social chaos. Malthus predicted that the human population would continue to increase exponentially (1, 2, 4, 16, 256 …) until the situation is out of control. He also warned that food production would only increase arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …) because of limitations in available farmland. To say the least, Malthus provided a disturbing vision of the future that included massive, global starvation as a consequence of unrestrained population growth. As it turned out, Malthus' predictions were mistaken because he failed to account for technological advancements and ingenuity that would increase agricultural and farm production, not to mention the...
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This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course SOCI 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.
- Fall '09