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also add to the number of people inhabiting towns: while the accumulation of capital and of private fortunes, the increase of menial servants, and the vari, ous calls for men who are in situations and pursuits of risk, danger, and the like, will add greatly to the list of those who do not reproduce their own num. bers even in the country. So that it is only after a longer interval than before, that the people again come to press against the supply of food. Thus an increased retardation takes place at every stage in the progress of society. The difficulty of procuring food will evidently increase with each of these revolutions ; because the country will, after each, have approached nearer to its acme of cultivation and production ; and the best remaining lands being occupied at each revolution, none but inferior and ungrateful soils will at length be left. But it is equally clear, from what has been said, that the progress of population will have become proportionably slower, and less capable of overtaking the diminished power of the land to supply it with food.
If it be necessary to make this proposition yet more plain, by any addition to the preceding arguments, let it be considered that, after no long progress in this advanced state of society, one family employed in agriculture will be able at least to support * itself and three others, in consequence of the improved modes of culture, which the necessity of a large surplus produce, and the application of commercial skill and capital to agricultural pursuits invariably introduce. Three-fourths of the people therefore will be left at large to follow manufactures,
* See Appendix to Dirom on the Corn Laws.
order of things compatible with immorality and oppression, by keeping affairs quiet while they are calling aloud for reformation ;-we find that the very expedients, resorted to for these purposes, produce a pressure thrice as heavy as that which they were intended to remove. It seems also to follow, both as a natural consequence, and as the result of historical experience, that this pressure will increase in intensity till it can no longer be borne, but must either crush the people, or rouse them with the energies of despair to cast it from themselves on their oppressors. This alternative may be most emphatically said to be presented to the choice of the unfortunate people of Spain at the present moment, (January 1816).
That the truth of the premises laid down in this Chapter cannot fairly be disputed, is presumed with some confidence. The facts on which they rest seem too obvious to require any further confirmation from the aid of history. That the newly settled lands in America raise and export a surplus produce of food, although their population is doubled in the shortest possible period, will probably be admitted without reference to their statistical writers to prove it. That in those states which have been settled for a longer period, the people having collected into towns export less of their produce, and do not increase in so rapid a ratio, will also be admitted. Yet as they still export some produce, their whole population cannot actually press against the whole of their means of subsistence. For it is evident that this effect cannot be produced by any general law of nature, till we find a want subsisting in the community for imported food, or for a further produce from their own territory ;-a condition of society which belongs to the following
Chapter. The fact therefore that food is still habi. tually exported may suffice, instead of any historical illustration, to prove that the means, by which the progress of population is naturally regulated in the states of society treated of in this Chapter, are sufficient still to preserve it within the limits of the actual supply of food, which was first raised in the purely agricultural state.
We will proceed then to apply very briefly to this portion of the argument the fundamental principles stated at the outset of the treatise, (vide ch. ii.) Population being, throughout the whole course treated in this chapter, preserved within the limits of the actual supply of food, it is evident that every conclusion tends clearly to establish the two first principles. For, first, population cannot exceed the powers of the soil to afford it subsistence, so long as a large surplus of food is actually derived from that soil; nor, secondly, can the existence of such surplus consist with a mischievous pressure of population against the actual supply of food. With respect to the third and fourth principles, which are conversant principally with the conduct and condition of individuals, there can be no doubt but that the folly of a government, or the vices of the people, may introduce much want and misery notwithstanding the overflowing state of the national resources. The political constitution of the United States of America, leading to anarchy and idleness among some of the lower ranks, and the recent political conduct of their government, have actually introduced into that country a baneful interference with the comfort and happiness of many orders of society. I doubt not that some excellent individuals are to be found among them; but to an English
every succeeding year. This is a rate of mortality less than that which is indicated by the best information with respect to the average mortality of European towns. It will appear reasonable, if we consider that the returns seem to prove that, (omitting all those sent into the country in the early periods of life, where a portion of them die without being included in the returns of the town), from a third to a half of the number born in towns usually die in the very earliest stages of life. The average expectation of life in a child just born in a town is never more than 19 years. In Vienna and Stockholm half the number born die under two years of age; in Manchester, containing 84,000 souls, under five; in Northampton, containing 7000 souls, under ten. Now in any space of 28 years, the number of acceders from the country settled in this town, at han in the 1000 per year, will be 196: and if they arrive there at the usual period of life (between 18 and 22 years of age), when they have all, one with another, an expectation of life equal to 30 years, i.e. an average prospect, which may be safely calculated upon, of reaching the ages
of 48 to 52, the number will not be diminished in the course of the generation : on the contrary, 7 multiplied by 30 gives 210, which would be the number per 1000 of emigrants from the country always residing in the town after the lapse of the first 30 years. For though some may die within a few years of their arrival, others will live beyond the age of 48 or 52, so the average will be the same. But as a few may come to settle between the ages of 22 and 35, during which periods the expectation of life is in some degree lower, and continually decreasing, a subtraction must be made on this account from the num,
power being now at the disposal of a jealous people, from whom it could not be wheedled by fraud or flattery, nor wrested by force, would follow the na. tural course of the human heart, and find its way into the hands of the most deserving : and at the outset of the republic it was so.
But time unfolded new views to the multitude. Every day gave them a stronger sense of their own power, and greater inclination to evince it by abuse. It was soon perceived that that which was unappropriated to any might be aspired to by all; and the lower classes of ambitious men, and vulgar politicians, who felt themselves excluded by want of desert from all participation in power, resolved to make up their deficiency in merit by fraud and imposition; and to disturb and pollute the stream of public opinion, which, so long as it continued to roll in its natural purity, would run in favour of the most meritorious citizens.” (Memoirs of T. Jefferson, New York, 1809, vol. i. p. 12, et seq.)
The licentious principles established by the French revolution, and previously disseminated no where with greater diligence than in the United States, lent great facilities to such a system of corruption. Nor was the early and absolute treachery of France sufficient to stem the torrent.
Another American writer (Brief View of the Policy and Resources of the United States. Philadelphia, 1810,) asserts, that the folly and passion in which the misfortunes of America have had their rise, are the inseparable concomitants of popular government, founded on thesuffrages of the multitude ; who though honest are ignorant; whose impressions are excited by feeling, not created by thought ; and least of all by the peculiar depth of reasoning, or