Population, Sustainability, and Malthus: Crash Course World History 215

Thomas Malthus posed the most famous, and most easily disproven, theory about projected population growth in economic history. What did he get wrong—and why? Explore the Malthusian Theory of Population with a Crash Course video that explores the history of population growth, as well as its ramifications.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Connect to a social studies lesson on Thomas Malthus and/or his Essay on the Principle of Population
  • Have class members conduct additional research on the Great Famine in 18th century Ireland
  • Encourage individuals to use additional real-world examples to critique or support the Malthusian theory of population in an argument essay
Classroom Considerations

  • Narration moves quickly; consider pausing at key moments to elaborate
  • Comment section is open to the public
  • Contains many cultural literacy references that may be over younger learners' heads, but will make older learners chuckle
Pros

  • Covers a fascinating topic about which high schoolers likely haven't spent much time thinking
  • Puts Malthus's principles in historical context
Cons

  • None