"I happened to
read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being
well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence
which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of
the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that
under these circumstances favourable variations would tend
to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed."
(28 September 1838: from his Autobiography).
(1766 - 1834) in An
Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
proposed that, whereas populations always tended to
increase exponentially, resources increased
only linearly. This in turn suggested a social theory
that increasing resources (through improved agricultural
practices, for example) would simply result in population
growth, rather than a general improvement in socioeconomic