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argument may appear the more indisputable. If, for example, only two thirds instead of three fourths of the adults remaining in the country actually married, which the advanced state of society in a very civilized country may render probable, and the waste of the towns is supposed equal to one fifth instead of one sixth of the population born within their limits, them it is evident that the progeny of the country residents would barely replace themselves and the waste in other places, and there could on the whole population be no increase at all. But taking all the advantages of the hypothesis in the last paragraph, it is easy to perceive, that a short step towards the state of society, in which one half of the inhabitants reside in towns, would naturally bring the population to its point of non-reproduction. Nor is the whole case yet stated. The period of life being shorter in towns than in the country, a generation would sooner pass away in the former; that is, the whole number there existing will be dead, and require to be renewed sooner than those in the country. It will immediately occur, therefore, to those who consider this circumstance, that a larger proportion of emigrants from the latter, in proportion to the whole number existing in a generation, will be required, beyond what is calculated upon in the above hypothesis; because it is there supposed that the period of a generation is equal in both situations. Against this, however, may be set off the progeny arising from second and third marriages. In a case where half the population resides in towns, supposing the whole number of the people to be 9,000,000, the demand of the towns for adults would be 750,000 in a generation, which, besides the 500,000 for waste, in naval, military, commercial, and other purposes above specified, must be supplied from the country residents in the prime of life. To afford this increased supply however, there would now be only a diminished number of 4,500,000, 1,500,000 of whom would never reach puberty, and 1,250,000 must emigrate in an adult state, but before they have materially added to the population; so that 1,750,000 only would then remain in the country to carry on the effective population: and supposing, by the most favourable hypothesis, that three fourths of these actually married, and that each couple had six children, their whole progeny would only amount to 3,937,500, instead of 4,500,000; that is, there would be a deficit of 562,000 in the whole population, at which rate of decrease it would be entirely extinguished in seventeen or eighteen generations. If it should be said that the increased demand for labour consequent upon its short supply would induce more than three fourths of the adults to marry, I do not deny that it probably would do so; but then we must consider first, that this effect could not be produced without disordering the arrangements of the community, and throwing back the country in question to a less advanced stage of society; and next, supposing even five sixths instead of three fourths to marry, their progeny would only amount to 4,425,000, and there would still be a deficiency. That no attempt may be omitted to illustrate this important and somewhat intricate part of the subject, let us state another case. If the towns became so large, and the other causes of abatement acquired such force, that two thirds of the people should cease to reproduce their own numbers, while the deficiency of a fifth in each gene.
ration remained in this barren part of the people to be made up by the productive third, (a condition that may very possibly exist in a cool climate, and in a free and highly civilized country, where the wants of Hife are numerous,) there seems no doubt that the population could not be kept up, but must evidently decline: for let us consider; in order to keep population stationary, it is necessary that every married couple should rear two children, supposing every man and woman to marry once; the productive third of the people must therefore rear that number in the first instance to replace themselves. They must moreover rear on an average four fifths of another child from each marriage, to replace the deficiency of a fifth from the other two thirds of the people. This would induce a necessity that each marriage, supposing all to enter once into that contract, should rear two and four-fifths, or nearly three children, to keep up the whole population. But as it is not found that many more than half of the numbers born attain to a marriageable age,” it follows that, supposing all who do attain that age to marry once, each couple must rear 54 children, and consequently produce at least seven, on an average, to keep up the population. But if we consider further, that of those who live to a marriageable age many do not marry, and that some, even in apparently the most favourable circumstances, produce no children; by estimating this barren portion of the reproductive part of the community at an eighth, we shall find that the prolific part must pro
* See Sir James Stewart's Pol. GEc.octavo ed. 1805, b. i. c. 12, p.92, 93; and c. 21, p. 207. See also a Short Inquiry into the Policy, &c. of the Poor Laws. c. 2, sec. 35.
duce near eight children, upon an average, to make it possible to keep up the whole number of the people. Now, supposing for a moment, that a manufacturing nation can prosper, while paying wages to all its labourers high enough to enable the married peasantry to support eight children, to the respective ages at which they would be cut off by the rate of mortality existing in the country, it would be to the last degree preposterous to believe the physical powers of the procreating part of the community to be capable of universally producing that number. The population must therefore decline; an increase of the reproductive classes by further cultivation could not prevent this effect, because cultivation cannot be increased in this state of society, except by the stimulus furnished by a previous increase of people. Supposing a still greater rise in wages possible without ruin to the national industry, the difficulty would not be surmounted; for, as we have seen, the physical powers of the people, in the actual state of their distribution, and of society, render a further increase impossible, without subtracting persons from occupations necessary to the public welfare, and naturally arising from, and inherent in, the actual state of the society. Nor could the ordinary operation of the demand for labour so far alter the distribution of the people, as to increase the proportion of the reproductive part of it. The only method then left of promoting a further increase seems to be by contriving, if possible, artificial means of enlarging, at the general expense, that portion of the community which supplies the deficiency of the remainder, i. e. the peasantry. The rich must give up a portion of their
superfluity for this purpose; and, as Sir James Steuart well observes upon another occasion, “the state must be at the expense of the children.” - Now should any one be inclined to object, that the proportions of births, deaths, and marriages, on which the calculations in this chapter are founded, are more unfavourable to the progress of population than are usually found to occur, and to quote instances in agricultural countries, where the proportions are more favourable;—I would reply that the application of facts, drawn from the agricultural state, to the more advanced stages of society can only lead to error; and that in these last, the proportions I have given are more favourable than is consistent with fact and experience, nor can ever be argued upon as less favourable than I have stated them, except by admitting the probability of some fanciful and theoretic improvement in the health and longevity of the people. I have endeavoured to refer to the returns and calculations to be found in the works of several writers on political economy, and to check and correct them by the superior accuracy and ingenuity of Mr. Malthus. It is presumed that few who have studied the subject will impute extravagance to the conclusions I have drawn; but those who chuse to alter the data may make the same sort of calculations upon data of their own, and may advance or retard the point of non-reproduction according to the differences in the proportion of births, deaths, and marriages, as they may be found to exist in fact, or as any calculator may please to suppose them. Considering the intricacy and difficulty of all calculations in political arithmetic, I am not presumptuous enough to affirm that errors may not possibly