Chapter 6: The reception of Malthus in Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America
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Malthus was well known in nineteenth-century Spain, his name being distinctly linked to the theory of population. Although the Essay on Population was translated late, Malthus’s ideas permeated Spanish cultured society. Economists celebrated his merits, but believed that the theory of population did not fit the case of Spain. Contributions contained in the Principles of Political Economy remained unknown, except for a small group of economists. Some praised the theory of land rent, but virtually none endorsed the theory of underconsumption, in an intellectual framework where Say’s law was accepted. The dissemination of Malthus in Latin America is still to be analysed in depth, but evidence collected here allows us to say that the process was quite similar. The cultured elite knew Malthus’s ideas on population, and economists appreciated his contributions. However, they did not think that the principles on population were useful for these vast new republics

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