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This article tracks the shifting contours of John Maynard Keynes's invocation of certain ideas associated with Thomas Robert Malthus, between 1914 and 1937 especially. These ‘Malthusian moments’ in Keynes's work form a triptych. In pre-war thinking about global population dynamics as a Malthusian ‘devil’ threatening national political and economic stability, Keynes found optimism in the thought that modern political economy could be repurposed to avoid the horns of such a dilemma. In the 1920s, he moved to consider the international, and particularly European, responses to both population and to the developing Malthusian ‘devil’ of unemployment. Finally, in the 1930s, Keynes's view became increasingly domestic, focusing on ways that these devilish twin problems could be managed by nation-states organized for prosperity and self-sufficiency. Across these moments, Keynes sought to assert the power of past political and economic ideas to aid in the formulation of present policy, by continuously (if rather loosely) invoking the Malthusian trope of ‘effective demand’.

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Corresponding author

Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Rd, Cambridge, cb3


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I am very grateful to my fellow editors, Alison Bashford and Shailaja Fennell, to the other contributors to this volume, and to participants in the original conference that took place in Cambridge for their comments and criticisms. For reading and criticizing earlier drafts, I would also like to thank Jeremy Green, David Nally, the two referees for the Historical Journal, and the editors, for providing help and encouragement.



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1 Keynes, John Maynard, ‘Population, protection and unemployment’, Collected writings of John Maynard Keynes (30 vols., Cambridge, 1972–2013) (hereafter cited as CW), xix, Activities, 1922–1929: the return to gold and industrial policy, pp. 120–47, esp. pp. 136–7. Cf. John Maynard Keynes, ‘The supplements completed’, CW, xvii, Activities 1920–1922: treaty revision and reconstruction, pp. 426–54, at p. 453.

2 John Maynard Keynes, ‘Thomas Robert Malthus: the first of the Cambridge economists’, (1933), CW, x, Essays in biography, pp. 71–103.

3 Keynes, John Maynard, ‘Some economic implications of a declining population’, Eugenics Review, 29 (1937), pp. 1317, at p. 16; repr. CW, xiv, The general theory and after, part 2, pp. 124–33.

4 Keynes made his argument in direct contrast to his King's College colleague, ‘The Prof’, Arthur Pigou. See Kumekawa, Ian, The first serious optimist: A. C. Pigou and the birth of welfare economics (Princeton, NJ, 2017), pp. 57–9.

5 John Maynard Keynes, CW, vii, The general theory of employment, interest and money, p. 161.

6 Daston, Lorraine, ‘How probabilities came to be objective and subjective’, Historia Mathematica, 21 (1994), pp. 330–44.

7 Daston, Lorraine, ‘Historical epistemology’, in Chandler, J., Davidson, A. I., and Harootunian, H., eds., Questions of evidence: proof, practices, and persuasion across the disciplines (Chicago, IL, 1989), pp. 282–9; Ian Hacking, ‘Making up people’, London Review of Books, 17 Aug. 2006, pp. 23–6; Hacking, Ian, Historical ontology (Cambridge, MA, 2002).

8 Knight, Frank H., Risk and uncertainty (Boston, MA, 1921), p. 172, had already made this issue clear for the discipline of political economy, and its radical conclusion was something Keynes could sympathize with in the 1920s. For Knight's later evolution, see Burgin, Angus, ‘The radical conservatism of Frank H. Knight’, Modern Intellectual History, 6 (2009), pp. 513–38. On the differences between Keynes and Knight on risk or uncertainty, cf. Jarvis, Darryl S. L., ‘Theorizing risk and uncertainty in social inquiry: exploring the contribution of Frank Knight’, History of Economics Review, 52 (2010), pp. 126, at pp. 16ff; Stohs, Mark, ‘“Uncertainty” in Keynes's general theory’, History of Political Economy, 12 (1980), pp. 372–82.

9 MacKenzie, Donald, An engine, not a camera: how financial models shape markets (Cambridge, MA, 2008).

10 Maier, Charles, ‘The politics of inflation in the twentieth century’, in Hirsch, F. and Goldthorpe, J., eds., The political economy of inflation (London, 1978), pp. 3772, at p. 39. More broadly, see Spang, Rebecca, Stuff and money in the French revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2016), pp. 217, 229, 243; Sonenscher, Michael, Before the deluge (Princeton, NJ, 2009), pp. 51–2, 72–94; Sonenscher, Michael, Sans-Culottes: an eighteenth-century emblem in the French Revolution (Princeton, NJ, 2008), pp. 318–24; Marion, Marcel, Histoire financière de la France depuis 1715 (6 vols., Paris, 1924), iii: La vie et la mort du papier-monnaie; Feldman, Gerald D., The great disorder: politics, economics, and society in the German inflation, 1914–1924 (Oxford, 1997).

11 Malthus, T. R., ‘Depreciation of paper currency’, in Semmel, B., ed., Occasional papers of T. R. Malthus on Ireland, population and political economy (New York, NY, 1963), pp. 72104; see also Walter, Ryan, ‘The enthusiasm of David Ricardo’, Modern Intellectual History, 15 (2018), pp. 381409.

12 On the Keynes–Lenin connection, see the new and more detailed account of White, Michael V. and Schuler, Kurt, ‘Who said “debauch the currency”: Keynes or Lenin?Journal of Economic Perspectives, 23 (2009), pp. 213–22.

13 Toye, John, ‘Keynes on population and economic growth’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 21 (1997), pp. 126.

14 John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’, CW, ix, Essays in persuasion, pp. 321–32.

15 Toye, ‘Keynes on population’, p. 3.

16 Singerman, David Roth, ‘Keynesian eugenics and the goodness of the world’, Journal of British Studies, 55 (2016), pp. 538–65, at p. 551.

17 Keynes, John Maynard, ‘Note: official papers’, Economic Journal, 22 (1912), pp. 627–36, at p. 631.

18 Strick, James E., Sparks of life: Darwinism and the Victorian debates over spontaneous generation (Cambridge, MA, 2000).

19 Kidd, Benjamin, Social evolution (London, 1894), esp. pp. 227, 242, 245, on the increasing competitive inclusion of hitherto excluded peoples as a consequence of evolution, but undertaken to a new and higher degree of ‘efficiency’ and in the ‘interests of society’ because it is ‘primarily religious in character’. Discussion in Hale, Piers, Political descent: Malthus, mutualism, and the politics of evolution in Victorian England (Chicago, IL, 2014), pp. 303–7, 346ff.

20 Sidgwick, Henry, ‘The theory of evolution and its application to practice’, Mind, 1 (1876), pp. 5767; for a helpful overview of the late Victorian philosophical debates, see Lanzoni, Susan, ‘Sympathy in Mind (1876–1900)’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 70 (2009), pp. 265–87.

21 Toye, ‘Keynes on population’, pp. 6ff.

22 Maier, Charles, In search of stability (Princeton, NJ, 1979).

23 Keynes, John Maynard, ‘War and the financial system, August 1914’, Economic Journal, 24 (1914), pp. 460–86.

24 Keynes, John Maynard, ‘The prospects of money, November 1914’, Economic Journal, 24 (1914), pp. 610–34, at pp. 623, 631.

25 Burk, Kathleen, ‘John Maynard Keynes and the exchange rate crisis of 1917’, Economic History Review, 32 (1979), pp. 405–16, at p. 408. More broadly, see Broadberry, Stephen and Howlett, Peter, ‘The United Kingdom and World War I’, in Broadberry, S. and Harrison, M., eds. The economics of World War I (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 206–34, esp. pp. 217ff, 224ff.

26 John Maynard Keynes, A treatise on money, II. The applied theory of money, CW, vi, ch. 36, esp. pp. 271, 275, 281ff, 286–7.

27 Keynes, General theory, CW, vii, p. 349; cf. Maier, ‘Politics of inflation’, p. 41, on inflation as eroding sovereignty.

28 Keynes, General theory, CW, vii, pp. 168–9.

29 Ibid., p. 203; for a famous and cogent critique, see Viner, Jacob, ‘Mr Keynes on the causes of unemployment’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 51 (1936), pp. 147–67.

30 Pigou, A. C., The economics of stationary states (London, 1935); for a later critique based on an updated article on the topic by Pigou, see Kalecki, M., ‘Professor Pigou on “The classical stationary state”: a comment’, Economic Journal, 54 (1944), pp. 131–2. See too Lawlor, Michael S., The economics of Keynes in historical context: an intellectual history of The general theory (Basingstoke, 2006), pp. 6770, emphasizing in particular that Keynes remained closer to Marshall (and then, contemporaneously, to Maurice Dobb) than to Pigou.

31 J. M. Keynes, ‘An economist's view of population’, Reconstruction in Europe, Section 6, ‘Population. Agriculture, and food supply. The peasant revolution in Europe’, Manchester Guardian Commercial, 17 Aug. 1922, p. 340.

32 Ibid., p. 341.

33 Ibid.; Bashford, Alison, Global population (New York, NY, 2014), pp. 50–1, 62–3, 166–80.

34 Benedetto Croce, ‘A philosopher's view of population’, Reconstruction in Europe, Section 6, 17 Aug. 1922, p. 343.

35 Guglielmo Ferrero, ‘An historian's view of population’, Reconstruction in Europe, Section 6, 17 Aug. 1922, p. 344.

36 Keynes, J. M., ‘Preface’, Wright, Harold, Population (Cambridge, 1923), pp. viiiix.

37 Ibid., p. 55.

38 Ibid., pp. 56–7. In Britain, population nearly doubled to 40.8 million people from 1851 to 1911. See in general Anderson, Michael, ‘British population history, 1911–1981’, in Anderson, Michael, ed., British population history: from the Black Death to the present day (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 359402, at p. 362.

39 John Maynard Keynes, ‘The decline of the Mark, 1921–1922’, CW, xviii, Activities, 1922–1932, pp. 1–84, at p. 26.

40 This is similar in fact to the sort of transition from modern liberalism to bio-politics outlined by Michel Foucault and to some recent interpretations of what ‘Keynesianism’ implies as a form of strategic crisis management. Foucault, Michel, The order of things (London, 1970), pp. 284–5; Oeuvres complètes (2 vols., Paris, 2015), i, p. 1320 (and on Ricardo and Marx specifically as proverbial ‘fish’ in nineteenth-century ‘water’, pp. 1311–58). Cf. Mann, Geoff, In the long run we are all dead: Keynesianism, political economy and revolution (London, 2017), pp. 3953, 65, who adduces ‘Keynesianism’ in a longer tradition of thinking about the relationship between politics, economics, and stability, finding it well before Keynes in the thought of Hegel; Dunn, John, ed., The economic limits to modern politics (Cambridge, 1985).

41 Bourke, Richard, Edmund Burke: a political life (Princeton, NJ, 2016), pp. 53, 458, 607.

42 See John Maynard Keynes, CW, vii, pp. 383–4; discussion in Skidelsky, Robert, John Maynard Keynes: hopes betrayed, 1883–1920 (London, 1983), p. 154; Tribe, Keith, The economy of the word (Oxford, 2016).

43 Cannan, Edwin, History of the theories of production and consumption in English political economy from 1776–1848 (London, 1893); Robbins, Lionel, History of economic thought: the LSE lectures (Princeton, NJ, 2008). Cf. Kumekawa, Pigou, pp. 156–64 on the challenge of Robbins to Cambridge economics generally and to Pigou particularly.

44 Beveridge, William, Unemployment: a problem of industry (London, 1909); cf. Pigou, A. C., Unemployment (London, 1913); Pigou, A. C., The theory of unemployment (London, 1933), who offered a more technical and theoretical account of what both he and Keynes saw as an ‘evil’, though both continued to quarrel about the nature of the solution. On this, see Kumekawa, Pigou, pp. 139–43, and Winch, Donald, Economics and policy (London, 1969), p. 63. Keynes's Tract on monetary reform (1923) synthesized many of these issues, but it was already becoming clear that his concerns were different from the sort of labour reforms promoted by Beveridge, and the focus on plasticity of wages highlighted by Pigou.

45 Barnett, Vincent, John Maynard Keynes (London, 2013), pp. 110ff, 175–8; cf. John Maynard Keynes, ‘Currency policy and social reform’, National Liberal Club speech, 13 Dec. 1923, CW, xix, pp. 158–62; John Maynard Keynes, ‘Does unemployment need a drastic remedy?’ The Nation and Athenaeum, 24 Nov. and 1 Dec. 1923, repr. CW, xix, pp. 219–23, 225–32. On the wider context of debates with William Beveridge over unemployment and population trends, see Harris, Josie, William Beveridge (Oxford, 1979), pp. 341–2; Barnett, Maynard Keynes, pp. 105–9.

46 John Maynard Keynes, CW, xvii, p. 446.

47 Beveridge, William, ‘Population and unemployment’, Economic Journal, 33 (1923), pp. 447–75, at p. 459; Keynes, John Maynard, ‘A reply to Sir William Beveridge’, Economic Journal, 33 (1923), pp. 476–86; discussion in Toye, ‘Keynes on population’, p. 13; Barnett, Maynard Keynes, pp. 105–6.

48 Harris, Beveridge, esp. pp. 115, 118, 235–41, 245.

49 Beveridge, William, ‘Mr Keynes's evidence for over population’, Economica, 10 (1924), pp. 120; responding to the general papers by John Maynard Keynes, ‘Unemployment and protection’, CW, xx, Activities, 1929–1931: rethinking employment and unemployment policies, pp. 467–528. Their disagreements would continue through Beveridge's critique of Keynes's ‘multiplier’ in the General theory, similarly to the way Pigou and Keynes continued to disagree. See Harris, Beveridge, p. 331.

50 Winch, Economics and politics, pp. 115–22.

51 Bashford, A. and Chaplin, J., The New Worlds of Thomas Robert Malthus (Princeton, NJ, 2016), esp. Part ii, ‘New Worlds in the Essay, c. 1803’.

52 Keynes, ‘Population, protection’, CW, xix, p. 123; ‘Monetary reform and unemployment’, CW, xix, pp. 158–237.

53 Bashford, Global population, pp. 7–8.

54 Weber, Max, ‘Bourgeois democracy in Russia’, [1905], in Baehr, P. and Wills, G. C., ed. and trans., The Russian Revolutions (Oxford, 1995), pp. 108–9; cf. Tuck, Richard, The rights of war and peace (Oxford, 1989), on the early modern origins of the idea of state as a self-interested individual.

55 Cf. Betts, Jocelyn, ‘After the freeholder: republican and liberal themes in the works of Samuel Laing’, Modern Intellectual History, 16 (2019), pp. 5786; Nilsen, Håvard Friis, ‘Republican monarchy: the neo-Roman concept of liberty and the Norwegian constitution of 1814’, Modern Intellectual History, 16 (2019), pp. 2956; as Claeys, Gregory, Mill on paternalism (Cambridge, 2013), makes clear, Mill thought birth control crucial to the positive checks on Malthusian dilemmas.

56 On Malthus, , Drake, Michael, ‘Malthus on Norway’, Population Studies, 20 (1966), pp. 175–96; on Keynes and the ‘Stockholm School’, see Hansen, Bent, ‘Unemployment, Keynes, and the Stockholm School’, History of Political Economy, 13 (1981), pp. 256–77; on Keynesian welfarism in Scandinavia, Winch, Donald, ‘The Keynesian revolution in Sweden’, Journal of Political Economy, 74 (1966), pp. 168–76; on the development of the so-called Keynesian revolution more broadly, Clarke, Peter, The Keynesian revolution in the making, 1924–1936 (Oxford, 1990).

57 Mokyr, Joel, A culture of growth (Princeton, NJ, 2016), p. 311 n. 39. There is debate as to quite how the terms translate here. Cf. Bashford, Alison, ‘Population politics since 1750’, in Pomeranz, K. and McNeill, J., eds., The Cambridge world history, vii (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 212–36, esp. pp. 212–14.

58 Everett, J. R., New ideas on population, with remarks on the theories of Malthus and Godwin (Boston, MA, 1823), pp. 48ff, 57ff.

59 Malthus, T. R., An essay on the principle of population (2nd edn, London, 1803), pp. 326, 387, 394–5, 530; Bashford and Chaplin, New worlds, ch. 4.

60 Keynes, ‘Population, protection’, CW, xix, p. 124. Cf. Bashford, Global population, pp. 48–9, on Keynes's use of Malthusian arguments to note that the nineteenth-century increase of population was now ‘impossible to replicate’ with a global condition of ‘standing room only’.

61 John Maynard Keynes, ‘Am I a Liberal?’ [1925], CW, ix, Essays in persuasion, pp. 295–306, at pp. 302–3; on the rise of the Liberal Summer Schools in general, the locations where Keynes gave various speeches, including those popularizing contraception, see Freeden, Michael, Liberalism divided: a study in British political thought, 1914–1939 (Oxford, 1986), ch. 4.

62 See Freeden, Michael, The new liberalism: an ideology of social reform (Oxford, 1986).

63 John Maynard Keynes, A tract on monetary reform [1923], CW, iv, pp. 29–30; Markwell, Donald, John Maynard Keynes and international relations: economic paths to war and peace (Oxford, 2006), p. 167.

64 The Spectator, 9 Sept. 1927, p. 8; Bashford, Global population, pp. 82–7.

65 Keynes, ‘National self-sufficiency’, CW, xxi, Activities, 1931–1939, pp. 233–46.

66 Ibid., p. 235.

67 Pullen, John, ‘Malthus on agricultural protection: an alternative view’, History of Political Economy, 27 (1995), pp. 517–29.

68 Keynes, ‘National self-sufficiency’, CW, xxi, p. 239.

69 Ibid., pp. 240ff, quotation at p. 241.

70 Ibid., p. 245.

71 Malthus, Essay (1803), iii.x. pp. 452–69, esp. p. 465, on the need to rebalance agricultural and manufacturing ratios for prosperity.

72 On ‘Malthus the moderate’ and his persistent agrarianism, see Winch, Donald, Malthus (Oxford, 1987), p. 76.

73 Malthus, T. R., An essay on the principle of population (5th edn, 3 vols., London, 1817), ii, Bk iii, ch. 9, pp. 410–13; see the provocative discussion of Salvadori, Neri and Signorino, Rodolfo, ‘From endogenous growth to stationary state: the world economy in the mathematical formulation of the Ricardian system’, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 24 (2017), pp. 507–27, esp. pp. 521ff.

74 See Robertson, Denis Holme, A study of industrial fluctuation: an enquiry into the character and causes of the so-called cyclical movements of trade (London, 1915), pp. 176–7, whose book (an elaborated junior research fellowship application) noted the force of Malthus's worry about shortages, and the contrast between the American and the British experience from c. 1870 to 1914. For helpful discussion, see Groenewegen, Peter, ‘D. H. Robertson's Study of industrial fluctuation: a centenary evaluation’, History of Economics Review, 61 (2015), pp. 91101.

75 John Maynard Keynes, ‘The end of laissez-faire’ (1926), CW, ix, Essays in persuasion, pp. 272–94.

76 Milward, Alan, ‘Keynesianism without Keynes’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 105 (1999), pp. 225–51.

77 Naumann, Friedrich, Mitteleuropa (Berlin, 1916); for the varieties of contemporary free-trading, Aristotelian, and protectionist narratives of political economy that framed Naumann's text, compare Priddat, Birgir P., ‘Die politische Wissenschaft vom Reichtum und Menschen: Aristotelische Reminiszensen in der Politischen Ökonomie des 19. Jahrhunderts’, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, 75 (1989), pp. 171–95; Peez, Alexander von, ‘Mittel-Europa und die drei Weltreiche Grösser-Britannien, die Vereinigten Staaten und Rußland’, in Zur neuesten Handelspolitik: Sieben Abhandlungen (Vienna, 1895); Dietzel, Heinrich, Die Theorie von den drei Weltreichen (Berlin, 1900); Schmoller, Gustav, ‘Die Wandlung in der Handelspolitik des 19. Jahrhunderts’, Schmollers Jahrbuch, 24 (1900), pp. 373–82, esp. pp. 373–4.

78 Cf. Cain, Peter, Hobson and imperialism: radicalism, new liberalism, and finance (Oxford, 2002); Fieldhouse, David K., Economics and empire, 1830–1914 (London, 1984); discussion in Markwell, Keynes and international relations, pp. 160–1.

79 Markwell, Keynes and international relations, p. 161; cf. Piketty, Thomas, Capital in the twenty first century, trans. Goldhammer, A. (Cambridge, MA, 2014), pp. 149, 234, 341.

80 Semmel, ed., Occasional papers of T. R. Malthus on Ireland, pp. 33–52.

81 Keynes, ‘National self-sufficiency’, CW, xxi, p. 236.

82 David Ricardo, The works and correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. P. Sraffa, ii: Notes on Malthus (Cambridge, [1967] 1976), esp. pp. 169, 370ff n. 247, and 385, 388; cf. Dobb, Maurice, Studies in the development of capitalism (London, 1965), p. 272.

83 Keynes, CW, vii, pp. 23–34.

84 Ibid., chs. 6–12.

85 Keynes, ‘Malthus’, CW, x, p. 91; ‘The Macmillan Committee’, CW, xx, p. 91; Markwell, Keynes and international relations, p. 166. Keynes worked with the Macmillan Committee in 1929.

86 O'Leary, James, ‘Malthus and Keynes’, Journal of Political Economy, 50 (1942), pp. 901–19, at pp. 905–7, 911.

87 Cf. Corry, B. A., ‘Malthus and Keynes: a reconsideration’, Economic Journal, 69 (1959), pp. 717–24, at pp. 722ff; Lambert, Paul, ‘Keynes and Malthus’, Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, 75 (1955), pp. 231–40, at pp. 234ff.

88 Hollander, Samuel, ‘Malthus and Keynes: a note’, Economic Journal, 72 (1962), pp. 355–9.

89 See Forrester, Katrina, ‘Citizenship, war, and the origins of international ethics in American political philosophy’, Historical Journal, 57 (2014), pp. 773801.

90 Rutherford, Robert R., ‘Malthus and Keynes’, Oxford Economic Papers, 39 (1987), pp. 175–89; Guthrie, William, ‘Selective rediscovery of economic ideas: what Keynes found in Malthus’, Southern Economic Journal, 50 (1984), pp. 771–80.

91 Kurz, Heinz D., Economic thought: a brief history (Columbia, NY, 2017), pp. 123–4, notes that what Keynes here referred to as ‘classical’ economics was really ‘neo-classical’ economics. For the local variations of support for these positions in the Cambridge economics faculty generally, see Kadish, Alon, Historians, economists, and economic history (London, 1989), p. 175.

92 Hont, István, Politics in commercial society (Cambridge, MA, 2015), ch. 5, esp. pp. 101, 107, on the distinction between Rousseau's hope for ‘balanced growth’ in a closed commercial state, and Smith's hope for competitive emulation amid bearable international inequality, as responses to ‘jealousy of trade’. See too Reinert, Sophus, Translating empire: emulation and the origins of political economy (Cambridge, MA, 2011).

93 See Rashid, Salim, ‘Malthus's Principles and British economic thought, 1820–1835’, History of Political Economy, 13 (1981), pp. 5579. See too Pullen, John, ‘Notes from Malthus: the Inverarity manuscript’, History of Political Economy, 13 (1981), pp. 794811.

94 Cf. John Pullen, ‘Introduction’, Malthus, T. R., Principles of political economy (2 vols., Cambridge, 1989), i, p. xviii; Pullen, John, ‘Keynes's criticisms of Malthus, and “Malthus's reply”: the concept of effective supply’, History of Economics Review, 34 (2001), pp. 168–81; Donald Winch, ‘“Chaos of original but unconnected elements”: the problem of Malthus's consistency’, Annual Bulletin of the Malthus Society, 2 Dec. 1992, a typescript at:

95 See Bederman, Gail, ‘Sex, scandal, satire, and population: revisiting Malthus's First Essay’, Journal of British Studies, 47 (2008), pp. 768–95.

96 Malthus, Essay (1817), iii, Bk iv, ch. 2, pp. 86ff.

97 Winch, Malthus, pp. 56, 58, 73, 79; see also Mayhew, Robert J., Malthus: untimely prophet (Cambridge, MA, 2014), pp. 61, 63, 66–7.

98 Wrigley, E. A., Energy and the industrial revolution (Cambridge, 2010), p. 172.

99 Pullen, J. M., ‘Malthus's theological ideas and their influence on his principle of population’, History of Political Economy, 13 (1981), pp. 3954; further elaborated in Variables and constants in the theology of T. R. Malthus’, History of Economics Review, 63 (2016), pp. 2132, esp. pp. 22ff, 26ff.

100 Winch, Donald, Riches and poverty: an intellectual history of political economy in Britain, 1750–1834 (Cambridge, 2008), p. 393; O'Flaherty, Niall, ‘Malthus and the “end of poverty”’, in Mayhew, Robert J., ed., New perspectives on Thomas Robert Malthus (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 74104.

101 Bashford, Global population, esp. pp. 10, 44–9.

102 Everett, New ideas on population, ch. 8; Malthus, Essay (1803), Part iv.

103 Hale, Political descent, p. 301; more broadly as the background for both Hale and the discussion here, see Desmond, Adrian, The politics of evolution (Cambridge, 1992); as Desmond, Adrian and Moore, James, Darwin's sacred cause (London, 2009), have polemically argued, Darwin's antipathy toward slavery might have been another political motivation for his evolutionary claims. That he read Malthus quickly and determined a simple mechanism from his argument that he could develop, however, is a well-known component of modern historiography.

104 Backhouse, Roger, ‘Sidgwick, Marshall, and the Cambridge School of Economics’, History of Political Economy, 38 (2006), pp. 1544, at pp. 27, 29–30. On Jevons more broadly, Maas, Harro, William Stanley Jevons and the making of modern economics (Cambridge, 2005). The problem would return in the 1940s with theories of demographic transition and evolution, on which see Szreter, Simon, ‘The idea of demographic transition and the study of fertility change: a critical intellectual history’, Population and Development Review, 19 (1993), pp. 659701.

105 J. M. Keynes, ‘The underlying principles’, Reconstruction in Europe, Section 12, ‘The state of opinion in Europe; disarmament and peace; the literature of reconstruction’, Manchester Guardian Commercial, 4 Jan. 1923, p. 717. On the broad array of historical and community-based meanings of free trade, in opposition to mere laissez-faire, see now Trentmann, Frank, Free trade nation (Oxford, 2009), pp. 316–30.

106 Keynes, CW, xiv, p. 132.

107 Markwell, Keynes and international relations, pp. 168–9.

108 John Maynard Keynes, ‘Letter to G. B. Shaw’, 1 Jan. 1935, CW, xiii, The general theory and after: part I, preparation, pp. 492–3.

109 Keynes, ‘Malthus’, CW, x, pp. 88–9, 105ff.

110 Cf. Hilton, Boyd, Age of atonement: the influence of evangelicalism on social and economic thought, 1795–1865 (Oxford, 1988); Mandler, Peter, ‘Tories and paupers: Christian political economy and the making of the new poor law’, Historical Journal, 33 (1990), pp. 81103.

111 Winch, Malthus, pp. 82, 87.

112 Keynes, CW, vii, pp. 333–84.

113 Sloman, Peter, The Liberal party and the economy, 1929–1964 (Oxford, 2015), p. 78.

114 Toye, Richard, ‘Keynes, liberalism and the “emancipation of the mind”’, English Historical Review, 80 (2015), pp. 1162–91, esp. pp. 1162–5, 1169–70, 1172, 1189, 1191.

115 Kurz, Economic thought, p. 125.

116 Maier, ‘Politics of inflation’, pp. 62, 67.

117 John Maynard Keynes, ‘My early beliefs’, CW, x, pp. 433–50, at p. 449, on the self-critical evolution of his liberalism; useful discussion in Davenport-Hines, Richard, Universal man: the seven lives of John Maynard Keynes (London, 2016), p. 85; cf. Shionoya, Yuichi, ‘Sidgwick, Moore, and Keynes: a philosophical analysis of “My early beliefs”’, in Bateman, B. W. and Davis, J. B., eds., Keynes and philosophy: essays on the origins of Keynes's thought (Cheltenham, 1992), pp. 629.

118 Singerman, ‘Keynesian eugenics’, p. 556.

119 Ibid., pp. 560, 556; Bashford, Global population, p. 176, citing Keynes to the effect that ‘since Malthus's time’, problems of population had become harder to manage, because they had become global.

120 Toye, ‘Liberalism’, p. 1173.

121 Ricardo, Notes on Malthus, p. 385.

122 Ibid., p. 388.

123 Pullen, John, ‘Malthus on growth, glut, and redistribution’, History of Economics Review, 65 (2016), pp. 2748. For the older view, see Stewart, Michael, Keynes and after (London, 1967), pp. 22–6, on the Malthus–Ricardo dispute.

124 Pullen, John, ‘Malthus and the doctrine of proportions and the concept of the optimum’, Australian Economic Papers, 21 (1982), pp. 270–86.

125 See Rodrik, Dani, The globalization paradox: why global markets, states, and democracy can't coexist (Oxford, 2012).

I am very grateful to my fellow editors, Alison Bashford and Shailaja Fennell, to the other contributors to this volume, and to participants in the original conference that took place in Cambridge for their comments and criticisms. For reading and criticizing earlier drafts, I would also like to thank Jeremy Green, David Nally, the two referees for the Historical Journal, and the editors, for providing help and encouragement.

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The Historical Journal
  • ISSN: 0018-246X
  • EISSN: 1469-5103
  • URL: /core/journals/historical-journal
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