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CHAPTER I.: introduction. - William Godwin, Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind 
Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind, being an Answer to Mr. Malthus’s Essay on that Subject (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820).
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In the Second Book of this work I have shewn the absolute impossibility, so far as all the Tables that have yet been formed respecting the multiplication of mankind can be relied on, that the increased population of the United States of North America, “a doubling,” according to Mr. Malthus, “for above a century and a half successively, in less than twenty-five years,” could have been produced by the principle of “procreation.” We have seen that under the most favourable circumstances, and such as cannot be expected to continue in any country for any length of time, the increase is perfectly insignificant compared with the monstrous propositions of Mr. Malthus, and that from the constitution of human nature it must necessarily be so.
Here then I might have closed my argument respecting the principal topic of the present treatise. I might have rested my appeal with every strict and impartial reasoner, whether the phenomenon of the increased numbers of the people of the United States must not be accounted for in some other way, and not from procreation. But I know that many readers, and many persons calling themselves reasoners, are neither strict nor impartial. And I would willingly consent to depart a little from the rigid forms of logical deduction, if by so doing I can the more fully satisfy such as these.
There will doubtless be some who, struck with the preceding arguments, will feel as if they had before them two opposite demonstrations, that which results on the one hand from all that is known, or has been laid down by scientifical writers, respecting the multiplication of mankind, and that which results on the other from' the actual enumerations and censuses of the inhabitants of the United States. That feeling will be erroneous. There cannot be opposite demonstrations: and, as has been already remarked, “A census or enumeration of human beings in any given country, or over the whole globe, can never constitute any term in the progression of the increase of mankind,” allowing for the moment that there is an increasea .
The result is then, that I have sufficiently proved, so far as can be inferred from all the documents that have yet been collected respecting the supposed increase of mankind, that the augmentation of numbers in the United States of North America, to whatever it may amount, cannot have arisen from their own proper resources in the way of procreation. It will nevertheless, as I have said, be more satisfactory to many, that I should endeavour to shew affirmatively how it has arisen; and for the sake of such satisfaction the present Book shall be appropriated to the solution of that problem. The human mind in ordinary instances does not rest so well contented with a merely negative demonstration: it is the passion of the common run of enquirers into man or nature, to seek to account for every thing, I by no means promise that I shall in the present case do this completely; I am entering upon an altogether new topic; but I shall at least throw out some hints, which I have no doubt subsequent information will make out and confirm. And at all events I protest in the commencement, against any imperfectness in the present division of my treatise, as having the effect of vitiating the reasonings of the divisions immediately preceding.
I further trust that, if I shall not be able to make out to demonstration the precise sources of the increasing population of the United States, I shall at least shew in what follows, from a variety of considerations, exclusively of the thread of the argument of my Second and Third Books, that it is impossible that the source should be found in the principle of procreation.
[a]See above, p. 147.