Francis Place

Francis Place

Francis Place (November 3 1771 - January 1 1854) was an English social reformer.

Early Career & Influence

He worked as a tailor, but found time to be an early supporter of contraceptives, and a radical of the early 19th century who befriended and supported many important figures, including Joseph Hume, Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet, and Jeremy Bentham. He also helped to influence John Stuart Mill. He published his influential and shocking book, "Illustrations and Proofs of the Principles of Population," in 1822, his only published book. cite web | url= | title=Francis Place | work=Spartacus Educational | accessdate=2007-08-11 ]

In 1794, Place joined the London Corresponding Society, a reform club, and for three years was prominent in its work. After ten years of retirement (1797-1807), during which he studied social and economic questions, he returned to politics. He lobbied successfully for the 1824 repeal of the Combination Act, which helped early Trade Unionism, though new restrictions were soon introduced. Oddly, Place himself regarded Trade Unionism as a delusion that workers would soon forget about if they were allowed to try it. His beliefs have something in common with modern Libertarians.Fact|date=August 2007

In 1830, Place helped support Rowland Detrosier, a working class radical activist who also sought to distance himself from socialism. [Lee, M. (2004) " [ Detrosier, Rowland (1800?–1834)] ", "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, accessed 10 Aug 2007 (subscription required)]

Moral Force Chartist

His pamphlets, letters, magazine and newspaper articles are diffuse and unattractive in style,Fact|date=August 2007 but very valuable for the light they throw upon the social and economic history of the nineteenth century.Thomas (2006)] Place was also a moral-force Chartist, but when Feargus O'Connor replaced William Lovett as the unofficial leader of the movement, Place ceased to be involved in Chartist activities.

Birth Control

After 1840 he attempted to organize a campaign against the Corn Laws. The earliest national birth control organization was founded in England in 1877 as a result of his thinking and activities. He successfully associated Malthus with the idea of birth control (which Malthus himself had opposed despite his fears of overpopulation). Contraceptives of various sorts became known as "Malthusian devices".Fact|date=August 2007



* Place, Francis [1822] "Illustrations and Proofs of the Principles of Population", a new edition with introduction and critical and textual notes by Norman E. Himes, London, Geo. Allen and Unwin (1930)
*Thomas, W. (2006) " [ Place, Francis (1771–1854)] ", "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, online edn, accessed 11 Aug 2007 (subscription required)
*cite book | last = Wallas | first = Graham | authorlink = Graham Wallas | title = Life of Francis Place | publisher = Kessinger Publishing | month = September | year = 2004 | id = ISBN 1-4179-4430-7

External links

* cite web | url= | title=Francis Place | work=Spartacus Educational | accessdate=2007-08-11

NAME=Place, Francis
SHORT DESCRIPTION=English social reformer
DATE OF BIRTH=November 3 1771
DATE OF DEATH=January 1 1854

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