In short: these people believed in progress or the improvement of the living conditions for all.Thomas Malthus (1766 -1834) was a political economist and Enlightenment thinker who observed the growing population with increasing concern.
During the 20th century environmentalists used Malthus’ theory to stress that the earth cannot sustain too many people and that resources will run out unless population growth is brought under control.
Famous examples of this neo-Malthusian thinking are the (1972), written by a team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Demographic Transition is attributed to a more effluent, better educated population that has access to contraceptives.
AN ESSAY ON THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION AS IT AFFECTS THE FUTURE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIETY, WITH REMARKS ON THE SPECULATIONS OF MR. But in 1798, when Europe's population of about 187,-000,000 was beginning to multiply -- and, despite vast migrations, was to reach a total of 550,000,000 -- the principles of population increase propounded in the "Essay" had a terrifying importance.
One hundred and fifty years later the advanced nations of Western Europe were to face a problem of declining numbers.
One hundred and fifty years before, Europe had a static population of approximately 100,000,000.In comparison with a couple of centuries earlier, Europe had fewer forests and less wildlife.Climate conditions were unfavorable due to the Little Ice Age and the landscape showed signs of severe degradation because people pushed agriculture into marginal areas.In the cities a lack of knowledge about hygiene led to epidemic disease and, in combination with food shortages, led to a high mortality.Notwithstanding all theses problems, birth rates still outstripped death.Malthus’s theory contradicted the optimistic belief prevailing in the early 19th century that a society’s fertility would lead to economic progress.Malthus’ theory won supporters and has sometimes been used as an argument against efforts to better the condition of the poor.By the end of the 18th century population growth in England and other parts of Europe accelerated due to increases in agricultural production as well as technological innovation linked to the industrial revolution, but more important European expansion overseas.European powers were importing food and resources from other parts of the world that were in short supply at home and exported part of its excess population to the colonies.Up till the present day it seems that history proved Malthus, Ehrlich and other doomsayers wrong, since the mass starvations predicted for the latter quarter of the 20th century never occurred.The reasons for this are multiple but the most important are that Malthus could not have foreseen the demographic transition.