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peculiar adaptation of the peasant-proprietary system for fostering it.

But the experience which most decidedly contradicts the asserted tendency of peasant proprietorship to produce excess of population, is the case of France. In that country the experiment is not tried in the most favorable circumstances, a large proportion of the properties being too small. The number of landed proprietors in France is not exactly ascertained, but on no estimate does it fall much short of five millions ; which, on the lowest calculation of the number of persons to a family, (and for France it ought to be a low calculation,) shows much more than half the population as either possessing, or entitled to inherit, landed property. A majority of the properties are so small as not to afford a subsistence to the proprietors, of whom, according to some computations, as many as three millions are obliged to eke out their means of support either by working for hire, or by taking additional land, generally on metayer tenure. When the property possessed is not sufficient to relieve the possessor from dependence on wages, the condition of a proprietor loses much of its characteristic efficacy as a check to over-population; and if the prediction so often made in England had been realized, and France had become a ut pauper warren,” the experiment would have proved nothing against the tendencies of the same system of agricultural economy in other circumstances. But what is the fact? That the rate of increase of the French population is the slowest in Europe. During the generation which uze Revolution raised from the extreme of hopeless wretchedress to sudden abundance, a great increase of population fruk place. But a generation has grown up, which, having been born in improved circumstances, has not learnt to be

irable; and upon them the spirit of thrift operates most conspicuously, in keeping the increase of population within the increase of national wealth. In a table, drawn up by VOL. I.

29*

Professor Rau,* of the rate of annual increase of the popu

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* The following is the table (see p. 168 of the Belgian translation of M. Rau's large work :) Per cent.

Per cent. United States ........ 1820-30 .... 2.92 Scotland ............... 1821-31 .... 1.30 Hungary (according to Rohrer) 2.40 Saxony ................. 1815-30 ... 1.15 England .............. 1811-21 .... 1.78 | Baden ..... 1820-30 (Heunisch) 1:13

.............. 1821-31 .... 1.60 Bavaria .............. 1814-28 ... 1.08 Austria (Rohrer).. .... .... | Naples ................. 1814-24 .... 0.83 Prussia ............... 1816-27 .... 1.54 France ..... 1817-27 (Mathieu) 0-63

................ 1820-30 .... 1•37 and more recently (Moreau de

................ 1821-31 .... 1•27 Jonnès) ............ ............. 0.55 Netherlands ....... 1821-28 .... 1.28

But the number given by Moreau de Jonnès, he adds, is not entitled to implicit confidence.

The following table given by M. Quetelet, (Sur l'Homme et le Developpement de ses Facultés, vol. i., ch. 7,) also on the authority of Rau, contains additional matter, and differs in some items from the preceding, probably from the author's having taken, in those cases, an average of different years : Per cent. 1

Per cent. Ireland ... .... 2.45 | Rhenish Prussia 1.33 | Naples .............. 0-83 Hungary .............. 2:40 | Austria ............. 1•30 France ............... 0.63 Spain ................. 1.66 | Bavaria ............. 1.08 Sweden ............. 0:58 England .............. 1.65 | Netherlands ...... 0.94 Lombardy ........... 0-45

A recent and very carefully prepared statement, by M. Legoyt, in the Journal des Economistes for May, 1847, which brings up the results for France to the census of the preceding year, 1846, is summed up in the following table :

Per cent.

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I am not aware of a single authentic instance which sup ports the assertion that rapid multiplication is promoted by peasant properties. Instances may undoubtedly be cited of its not being prevented by them, and one of the principal of these is Belgium; the prospects of which, in respect to population, are at present a matter of considerable uncertainty. Belgium has the most rapidly increasing population on the Continent, and when the circumstances of the country require, as they must soon do, that this rapidity should be checked, there will be a considerable strength of existing habit to be broken through. One of the unfavorable circumstances is the great power possessed over the minds of the people by the Catholic priesthood, whose influence is everywhere strongly exerted against restraining population. As yet, however, it must be remembered that the indefatigable industry, and great agricultural skill of the people, have rendered the existing rapidity of increase practically innocuous; the great number of large estates still undivided, affording by their gradual dismemberment, a resource for the necessary augmentation of the gross produce; and there are, beside, many thriving manufacturing towns, and mining and coal districts, which attract and employ a large portion of the annual increase of population.

5. But even where peasant properties are accompanied by an excess of numbers, this evil is not necessarily

greatly improved in quantity and quality. “Sie heutigen Tages bedeutend besser ist, als vor ungefähr 40 Jahren, wo das Gesinde weniger Fleisch und Mehlspeisen, keinen Käse zum Brote u. dgl. erhielt.” (p. 20.) “Such an increase of wages,” (adds the Professor,) "which must be estimated not in money, but in the quantity of necessaries and conveniences which the laborer is enabled to procure, is by universal admission a proof that the mass of capital must have increased." It proves not only this, but also that the laboring population has not increased in an equal degree; and that in this instance, as well as in France, the morcellement of the land, even when excessive, has been compatible with a strengthening of the prudential checks to population.

idly, has caused a noticeable improvement in the condition of the laboring class. The circumstances of that portion of the class who are landed proprietors are not easily ascertained with precision, being of course extremely variable; but the mere laborers, who derive no direct benefit from the changes in landed property which took place at the Revolution, have unquestionably much improved in condition since that period.* M. Rau testifies to a similar fact in the case of another country in which the subdivision of land is really excessive—the Palatinate.t

* “Les classes de notre population qui n'ont que leur salaire, celles qui, par cette raison, sont les plus exposées à l'indigence, sont aujourd'hui beaucoup mieux pourvues des objets nécessaires à la nourriture, au logement et au vêtement, qu'elles ne l'étaient au commencement du siècle. .. On peut appuyer (ce fait] du témoignage de toutes les personnes qui ont souvenir de la première des époques comparées. .. S'il restait des doutes à cet égard, on pourrait facilement les dissiper en consultant les anciens cultivateurs et les anciens ouvriers, ainsi que nous l'avons fait nous-mêmes dans diverses localités, sans recontrer un seul témoignage contradictoire; on peut invoquer aussi les renseignemens recueillis à ce sujet par un observateur exact, M. Villermé (Tableau de l'Etat Physique et Moral des Ouvriers, liv. ii., ch. 1.)" From an intelligent work published in 1846, Recherches sur les causes de l'Indigence, par A. Clément, pp. 84-5. The same writer speaks (p. 118) of “la hausse considérable qui s'est manifestée depuis 1789 dans le taux du salaire de nos cultivateurs journaliers;" and adds the following evidence of a higher standard of habitual requirements, even in that portion of the town population, the state of which is usually represented as most deplorable. “Depuis quinze à vingt ans, un changement considérable s'est manifesté dans les habitudes des ouvriers de nos villes manufacturières : ils dépensent aujourd'hui beaucoup plus que par le passé pour le vêtement et la parure. .... Les ouvriers de certaines classes, tels que les anciens canuts de Lyon," (according to all representations, like their counterpart, our handloom weavers, the very worst paid class of artisans,) “ne se montrent plus comme autrefois couverts de sales haillons." (Page 164.)

+ In his little book on the Agriculture of the Palatinate, already cited, he says that the daily wages of labor, which during the last years of the war were unusually high, and so continued until 1817, afterwards sank to a lower money rate, but that the prices of many commodities having fallen in a still greater proportion, the condition of the people was unequivocally improved. The food given to farm laborers by their employers has also

I am not aware of a single authentic instance which supports the assertion that rapid multiplication is promoted by peasant properties. Instances may undoubtedly be cited of its not being prevented by them, and one of the principal of these is Belgium; the prospects of which, in respect to population, are at present a matter of considerable uncertainty. Belgium has the most rapidly increasing population on the Continent, and when the circumstances of the country require, as they must soon do, that this rapidity should be checked, there will be a considerable strength of existing habit to be broken through. One of the unfavorable circumstances is the great power possessed over the minds of the people by the Catholic priesthood, whose influence is everywhere strongly exerted against restraining population. As yet, however, it must be remembered that the indefatigable industry, and great agricultural skill of the people, have rendered the existing rapidity of increase practically innocuous; the great number of large estates still undivided, affording by their gradual dismemberment, a resource for the necessary augmentation of the gross produce; and there are, beside, many thriving manufacturing towns, and mining and coal districts, which attract and employ a large portion of the annual increase of population.

§ 5. But even where peasant properties are accompanied by an excess of numbers, this evil is not necessarily

greatly improved in quantity and quality. “Sie heutigen Tages bedeutend besser ist, als vor ungefahr 40 Jahren, wo das Gesinde weniger Fleisch und Mehlspeisen, keinen Käse zum Brote u. dgl. erhielt.” (p. 20.) “Such an increase of wages,” (adds the Professor,) “which must be estimated not in money, but in the quantity of necessaries and conveniences which the laborer is enabled to procure, is by universal admission a proof that the mass of capital must have increased.” It proves not only this, but also that the laboring population has not increased in an equal degree ; and that in this instance, as well as in France, the morcellement of the land, even when excessive, has been compatible with a strengthening of the prudential checks to population.

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