Malthus, the 18th Century European explorers andthe principle of population in Africa

Georges Reniers


In the second edition of his Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus included twelve chapters that offer a remarkable description of population dynamics from all corners of the world. His discussion of (sub-Saharan) Africa was almost entirely based on the travel accounts of James Bruce and Mungo Park, two late Eighteenth Century British explorers. In this essay, I introduce these sources and discuss the insights that Malthus did, or perhaps should have, derived from both.

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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