Three documents such as The Constitution of the United States, Thomas Malthuss Essay on the Principle of Population, and Karl Marxs and Friedrich Engels Communist Manifesto all possess many similarities, yet there are also differences. The intentions of the authors are similar, due to the times these documents were written, and the historical contexts are a reflection of their worlds around them. Plus, these three documents had great impacts on many audiences and are even talked about in the Twentieth Century.
One similarity between these three documents is that they were written during times of revolution and reform. The Constitution was written in 1787, and the writers of the Constitution were determined to end the period of economic depression, social uncertainty, and very weak central government that had followed independence (McKay, 695). After the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were written.
These two documents were the basis of this constitution, and its purpose was to develop a working government and help rebuild their new nation. In 1798, Thomas Malthus advanced a revolutionary theory (Beatty/Johnson, 149). Malthuss spent most of time on demographic research, which is the basis of his arguments in his Essay on the Principle of Population. He felt that the population would eventually grow beyond the natural resources prepared for it. The basis of his predictions was the population explosion(McKay, 637) in the eighteenth century.
Also, during this time there were a lot of revolutions and national wars, some were disputes for the gain of more natural resources. These wars were an influence on Malthus. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, and it is considered one of the greatest revolutionary documents(Beatty/Johnson, 174). Marx and Friedrich wanted to push the proletarians toward revolution against the bourgeoisie. The Communist Manifesto was written during the time of the Revolutions of 1848.
Despite their critique toward such things as classical economists and capitalism, at heart it was a moral protest against the human misery and degradation resulting from early nineteenth-century industrialism (Beatty/Johnson, 173). These documents are different in many ways, for one, their content vary from government planning and the rights of the American people, to theories about the future of the population, and statements about the treatment of the people and their separation between the classes of that time.
The Constitution was written to please the people of their new nation, and the audience was going to read this document in order to start over with a Democratic state. While the people that read Malthuss Essay on the Principle of Population, looked down upon his theories because, unlike his time, around the time of the Enlightenment, he was pessimistic and not optimistic. As a result, his book came as a great shock to the learned world of his time(Beatty/Johnson, 149).
Karl Marx and Friedrich were taught about German philosophy, English political economy, and French socialism. They used these three sources as a basis to their writings, but Marx reversed the argument of classical economists: where they found in the labor theory of value a defense of capitalism, he found a weapon to attack it(Beatty/Johnson, 173). This document was an alteration of past views, and was a new approach to the ideas that had been taught for many years. Marx and Friedrich influenced the decisions of the people during the Revolutions of 1848.
Many future influences occurred from these three documents. The Constitution of the United States was the basis of the American government today. This document is still being used in the twentieth century by the American people, and has allowed there to be the influence of change throughout the times and alterations within the future. Malthuss theories were considered a failure during his time due to them not materializing. However, in an article written by Donella Meadows, in 1998, his theories are still talked about.
He may not have been correct about many aspects of his theories due to increased technology and the balance between present birth and death rates. Yet, Malthus said one thing that was correct then and has been correct ever since: The pressure arising from the difficulty of procuring subsistence is not to be considered as a remote one which will be felt only when the earth refuses to produce any more, but as one which actually exists at present over the greatest part of the globe(Meadows, October 1998).
Karl Marx and his statements were used in the Social Movement and later called Marxism. Lenin used Marxs and Friedrichs Communist Manifesto as his inspiration after 1900. The Constitution of the United States, An Essay of the Principle of Population, and the Communist Manifesto, all were written in different countries and somewhat different decades, but they all had a great influence throughout history. They may be similar and different in many ways, and they are all-important for different reasons, but they reflect the ideas and views of the people from their times.