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had little more than a million of inhabitants, there came enough to double that number : when, in 1790, we had 3,921,326, there came enough to match that number. In 1800 our numbers were up to 5,319,762 ; and now we are possessed of the census of 1820, from which it appears that the number of 1800 will be doubled in less than twenty-five years. So that it is plain, if population does not increase in a geometrical ratio, emigration does. And all this while, Great Britain, which furnishes nine tenths of all our emigrants, is increasing her numbers at home. No matter what is the situation of Europe, whether at peace or war, enjoying abundance or suffering scarcity; the amount of emigration goes on increasing constantly and uniformly, in exact proportion as the land in America becomes more settled, and the temptations to emigration are diminished. The inquiry will naturally suggest itself to Mr Godwin's readers in this country-where are all these foreigners ? Since 1790, near six millions of them must have arrived, and of course a majority of the adult population are of foreign birth. Considering that in this country, a majority is omnipotent, it is a little singular that we do not see and hear a little more of this class of men ; that we do not sometimes witness their efforts to control the elections or to influence the government. Why should they not alter that clause of the constitution which excludes them from the highest office of the nation; and why, although not constitutionally disqualified, are they (with here and there a solitary exception) in fact excluded from all other offices ? Mr. Godwin's ideas of the character of our population correspond with his notion of its origin. We will give the account in his own words.

There is an extreme fallacy in Mr Malthus' language, when he talks, in his letter to me of October 1818, speaking of the popu. lation of the United States, of “ foreign in migration.” In the United States there is no idea, correspondent to the term,“ a foreigner.” This republic is properly colluvies omnium gentium. No native of any part of Europe will fail in one respect to find himself at home, the moment he has set his foot on the shores of North America ; particularly the inhabitants of the British isles, who, according to Mr. Niles' collections, land there at the rate of two or three thousand per week. The term “ foreign” in this case, conveys to the mind a fallacious idea ; since we are accustomed to see what Mr. Malthus calls “foreign immigrants” constituting a very trivial portion of the population of an old country. American congress in reality has done wisely in refusing to sepa

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NORTH AMRICAN REVIEW.

No. XXXVII.

NEW SERIES, No. XII.

OCTOBER 1822.

ART. XIII.-An Inquiry concerning the power of Increase in

the Numbers of Mankind ; being an answer to Mr Malthus's Essay on that subject. By William Godwin. London, 1820.

It is now about twenty-four years since Mr Malthus first undertook to discuss the subject of population. He was led to an examination of the subject, with a view of refuting some of the leading dogmas of a class of writers who at that time attracted much of the public attention, and by whom all the miseries and sufferings of the lower classes were attributed to the institutions of society, and particularly to the laws of property. Among these writers was Mr Godwin, whose treatise on Political Justice, we all have read or heard of. Mr Malthus' work, though at first written with this temporary purpose, attracted so much notice, that the author was induced to continue his attention to the subject; and now in its fifth edition, it has grown to the size of three octavo volumes, and is probably destined to be forever after considered the standard work on the difficult subject which it treats. Mr Godwin, it would seem, has not relished this success of his antagonistfor after the lapse of so long a time, he has come forward with a volume of more than six hundred

pages,
in the

way joinder. And a most lame and impotent rejoinder it is ; alike

New Series, No. 12. 37

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unphilosophical in its views, and disingenuous in its spirit. The author scolds when he ought to reason; calls names when he should give us facts; and condescends at all times to the most unworthy misrepresentations, not only of particular positions and arguments, but of the whole scope and object of his opponent's work.

It is well known that the fundamental principles of Mr Malthus' work, or rather the fact upon which all his reasonings are built, is, that population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years; or increases in a geometrical ratio'-but that food can only increase in an arithmetical ratio. It was not left to Mr Malthus to discover that there is a tendency in the human race to increase its numbers; and if it is admitted that population increases at all, for any considerable period, it seems to us necessary that the increase should be in the nature of a geometrical increase. If the population of a country can double itself, no matter whether it be in a period of twenty-five or of a hundred years, the population, when doubled, will still have the same power of increasing which the original stock had. But not so with food ; if, in the course of twenty-five years, we could double the amount of food produced in any country, it would by no means follow, that in a period of fifty years the amount would be quadrupled. It was not, however, until the publication of the American censuses, that the world was enabled to judge, with any degree of accuracy, in how short a period this doubling could be accomplished. • If America had never been discovered,' says Mr Godwin, 'the geometrical ratio, as applied to the multiplication of mankind, would never have been known. If the British colonies had never been planted, Mr Malthus would never have written. If this were true, it would detract not a whit from the correctness of what Mr M. has written. Most of the writers who have attempted to answer Mr Malthus, at least those whose works have lived long enough to cross the Atlantic, have been content to acquiesce in the truth of the geometrical increase, and have confined their endeavors to an attack upon his inferences and deductions. Not so with Mr Godwin-he proceeds at once to the root of the argument, and denies both that the population of the United States has increased in the ratio which Mr Malthus supposes, and our censuses represent; and says, that if this were the case, it would be insufficient to prove that such is the natural

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