Introduction to Thomas Robert Malthus, Principles of Political Economy, 1820
Thomas Robert Malthus’s Essay on Population (1798) contributed one of the central propositions by which British classical political economy came to be defined. His Principles of Political Economy, however, is one of the truly great iconoclastic, dissenting treatises in the history of political economy. Malthus here dissented from the received doctrine of David Ricardo’s theory of value and deductive methodology. He dissented from the ‘law of the market’ associated with James Mill and J. B. Say and embraced by Ricardo and his followers. He further dissented from, or at least was strongly revisionist of, Ricardian and indeed his own prior rent theory, as well as many lesser Ricardian themes. He also dissented from the very negative Whiggish, middle-class perception of the landed, rentier and aristocracy.
KeywordsPolitical Economy Wage Rate Agricultural Commodity Land Rent Effective Demand
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