Over-Population and its remedy; or, an inquiry into the extent …

THORNTON, William Thomas. Over-Population and its remedy; or, an inquiry into the extent and causes of the distress prevailing among the labouring classes of the British Island….

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THORNTON, William Thomas. Over-Population and its remedy; or, an inquiry into the extent and causes of the distress prevailing among the labouring classes of the British Islands, and into the means of remedying it. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. 1846.

8vo. Original brown cloth, gilt lettering to spine; pp. xii + 446 + [ii] + 32 [ads.]; cloth mottled, very good. Provenance: pencil signature of the historian F.R. Cowell (1897-1978) to ffep.
First edition. Thornton's anti-Malthusian work is based on his study of the Irish labouring classes, and reaches the conclusion that the subdivision of the land and private ownership were the remedies for poverty. He criticises Malthus for overlooking "the tendency which the possession of property has to engender prudence, and seems, indeed, to have thought that the quality is rarely to be found among members of the laboring class, except under the pressure of misery." (p.270). Like John Stuart Mill, Thornton was employed at the East India Company and they became good friends upon the publication of this work, despite disagreeing on almost every point.

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