This article argues that Hobbes was actively engaged in the debates about population size as a component of his broader approach to political economy. By the seventeenth century, beliefs about economic well-being routinely turned back onto the question of population size. This article situates Hobbes's arguments about populations in and among the common arguments for the movement of people in the seventeenth century. Hobbes rejected the natural law tradition of hospitality, which required that states take care of foreigners, and populationist arguments, which assumed that economic progress was predicated on rapid population growth. Specifically, this article will show that Hobbes held a view common to the late Tudor period; namely, a wise sovereign should be actively engaged in regulating population inflows and outflows. Not only did this require careful management of domestic procreative policies, but it also had implications for colonization and war-making.
To make sense of early seventeenth-century conceptions of political economy, one needs a clear understanding of how populations were understood. This is because beliefs about economic well-being routinely turned back on theoretical assumptions about how effectively a population was constituted. For a political community to be healthy, it needed, at the very least, enough farmers, soldiers, laborers, and customers. There was a growing sense in this period that not only do these groups represent a necessary division of labor, but the exchanges between these sectors produce a system. Hobbes (1996: 155) writes, “By systems, I understand any numbers of men joined in one interest, or one business.” The complexities of this newly identified system, which Hobbes calls the “oeconomy of the commonwealth,” were such that they required special administrative attention; for Hobbes, these dynamics would be overseen by a group of public ministers who would monitor exchanges and public revenues (167). Despite this novel interest in the systems of state economies, predemographic theorists, like Hobbes, tended to construe populations qualitatively rather than quantitatively. Almost no one in this period thought to conceive of population in strict numerical terms. This is partly because attempts at quantification produced little more than wild guesses based on anecdotal evidence.1 Instead, the focus on populations almost always came down to the effective constitution and management of the body politic, which routinely touched on broader questions of security, the domestic exchange of goods, and foreign trade.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) as a political economist (Zaratiegui 2000; Taylor 2010; Ward 2020).2 Interpretations about Hobbes's economic views have come a long way since the mid-twentieth century, when scholars assumed that he was uninterested in questions of economy (Levy 1954: 589) or that he promoted a crude form of “possessive individualism,” the conceptual basis for bourgeois capitalism (Macpherson 1962). Many now accept that Hobbes was actively engaging with questions of political economy, even if these contributions are not always easy to recognize. To be sure, since the idea of political economy was in its infancy, no one, including Hobbes, spoke about this subject matter as a discrete and clearly demarcated field of study.3 Even if, as noted above, it was to be overseen by a group of specialists, Hobbesian economics is deeply woven into the political fabric of the state.
With this renewed interest in Hobbes as a political economist, it is striking that very little has been written on his theory of population. A cursory view of the literature on this subject is dated and profoundly erratic. For instance, James Bonar suggests that Hobbes was not interested in population but the issue of “room” (i.e., whether there is enough room for everyone); he notes that there are only vague hints about demography in his work, nothing substantial enough to warrant much discussion. At best, Hobbes was a foil for later, more economically minded writers to react against (Bonar 1966: 37). E. P. Hutchinson (1967: 41) claims that Hobbes “gave no more attention to population than to recognize the more or less obvious dependence of the number of people on the food supply,” a view reproduced by Tony Aspromourgos (1996: 70). Jan Feldman (1984: 363) sees Hobbes as a proto-Malthusian whose Leviathan is the last hope to keep unruly populations and the fierce competition that will inevitably ensue “within reasonable bounds.” Claude Villee (1985: xv) sees Hobbes as simply recapitulating an idea of population control from the Middle Ages. Daniel Statt (1995: 47) argues that Hobbes “expressed depopulationist sentiments.” This survey is neither substantial nor impressive. Most of the references represent passing glances at Hobbes's theory. Indeed, all but Feldman's suffer from superficiality or lack of sustained engagement with Hobbes's work. Quite evidently there is a lacuna in the understanding of Hobbes's theory of population as it pertains to questions of political economy.
The purpose of this article is to give expression to Hobbes's view of the political economy of population. That such a position can be derived from Hobbes may not be obvious by just reading him. This article will show that lingering under many well-known passages Hobbes is not only formulating a theory of population but participating in a contemporaneous population discourse. Indeed, by understanding the competing population theories of the seventeenth century, the contours of Hobbes's framework become much clearer. More specifically, this article will show that Hobbes held a view common to the late Tudor period; namely, a wise sovereign should be actively engaged in regulating population inflows and outflows. This was a more dynamic process than one might expect. For Hobbes, at least, it was not enough simply to encourage progrowth policies; the sovereign needed to maintain firm control of these forces lest the population transform into a ruthless mob. This concern about the quality of civil populations, and the likelihood that they would riot, is based on certain normative assumptions about how multitudes of people are constituted and how they function in cities. As will be seen, Hobbes's framework also has implications for the admission of migrants and refugees.
In one off-handed comment, Hobbes (1998: 221) argues that “persons, times, and places of meeting are matters of civil law; and neither citizen nor foreigner may rightly set foot in any place without permission of the commonwealth which has dominion over it.” Quite expressly, this shows that permission from the sovereign was a precondition for entrance, but it says nothing about the disposition of the sovereign to admit foreigners. Elsewhere, Hobbes (1996: 459) also speaks about how the introduction of philosophy had led to the production of “great and flourishing cities.” At first glance, this gives the impression that large and populous cities were the desirable outcome of advances in knowledge and understanding. Along these same lines, Hobbes explains that a state's wealth is found not in “lands and monies” but in the subjects' “bodies and minds” (142). He goes on to clarify that it is much easier “for men to procure money, than money men” (142).4 All of this accords with the view that while population growth ought to be monitored by the sovereign, it is the numbers of men in a city that is a precondition to, if not a predictor of, economic well-being. This may give the false impression that Hobbes believed that population growth was a good in itself. While a political community certainly needs replacements for its members who die, the incorporation of new generations or, if it so happens, immigrants needs to be cautiously managed. The dynamics of change have the potential to generate imbalances and congestions, all of which may risk undermining the constitution and with it the stability of the state.
As will be seen, for Hobbes a “great city” did not stem from a rapidly growing labor force. “Plenty” was derived from “labor and industry” (Hobbes 1996: 170). There were no shortcuts to economic strength. The nourishment and growth of the commonwealth should be patient, methodical, and generational. Unlike William Petty (1623–87) and John Locke (1632–1704), Hobbes would not have been able to conclude that what made Holland—the great economic power of the seventeenth century—so formidable was its generous immigration policy, that “new Strangers are admitted ad infinitum” (Petty 1899: 266) or that it is “crammed with people” (Locke 1997: 322). In fact, Hobbes (1998: 149–50) suggests that an “island nation” (England, no doubt), with “just enough room for habitation,” must rely on “trade and manufacture alone, without sowing and without fishing” to grow rich. Unlike Petty and Locke, Hobbes believed that it was only countries with larger tracts of land, like France or Italy, that could afford dramatic population growth. States with limited amounts of territory must be strategic, thrifty, and well disciplined in how they manage the growth of their citizenry to build strong economies. To be sure, for Hobbes, “multitudes of men” do not inevitably lead to prosperity. In fact, an unregulated multitude was a grave danger to the economic and political health of the commonwealth.
There is, however, another side to the Hobbesian population. While the sovereign will certainly have an interest in keeping an eye on who is entering and leaving the nation, Hobbes also suggests that when the sovereign is no longer able to protect his subjects, they are free to seek protection elsewhere. Persecuted and vulnerable populations are obligated to obey their rulers only to the extent that their lives are secured. This suggests a compelling global dynamic where individuals possess the perpetual right of exit but not the unequivocal right of entrance. The right of emigration is linked to personal considerations, whereas the right of immigration is governed by the reason of state and the disposition of the sovereign. The threat of population flight is a powerful regulatory component that will surely incentivize the sovereign to cultivate favorable domestic conditions of economic well-being.5
To appreciate the importance of population to Hobbes's understanding of political economy, the structure of this article is as follows. In order to illuminate the context in which he was writing, the following section outlines three discourses of the dynamics of populations that were common in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.6 (1) Stemming from the Platonist or steady-state theory of population, there arose a discourse that suggested that rapid growth leads to instability, which is manifested through a number of economic and political evils (e.g., poverty, crime). While growth was permitted, it should be patient and well regulated. (2) It had long been a feature of the natural law tradition that states had a duty to be hospitable to strangers. Foreigners and refugees cast out of their homes should be able to find refuge and comfort in foreign states. (3) Emerging out of the republican revival and the demographic revolution of the mid-seventeenth century, many commentators advocated for rapid growth and large population sizes, a position advocated by “populationists” (Statt 1995; Smith 2018). According to this tradition, not only do states have a duty to accept foreigners, but doing so would produce dramatic economic gains.
The article then explores Hobbes's engagement with these population discourses. Hobbes's theory of population and population growth reflects his desire to radically redefine the role that Christian notions of charity and hospitality play in international politics, but it also suggests that he was resistant to the revolution in republicanism and demographic theory that was beginning to arise in the mid-seventeenth century. Part of Hobbes's resistance to rapid population growth, as advocated by the populationists, can be found in his qualitative assessment of populations. Numbers of people were less important than the mechanisms to manage them; in other words, a “multitude” had a value only in relation to sovereign constraint, that is, whether the sovereign could effectively regulate and control them. While populationists, many of whom were mercantilist in orientation, reflected a growing awareness of market forces, and could therefore appeal to hidden laws of exchange and transfer to regulate the movement of people, Hobbes, in contrast, advocated for more direct control. Rather than an appeal to market forces, Hobbes focuses on how effectively the population has been constituted. A properly established multitude will bear certain normative qualities that a dissolute population will not. The final section will look at the mechanism of colonization and war as tools of population control.
Dynamics of Populations: Three Traditions
Steady-State Theory of Population
By the mid-seventeenth century there had emerged principally three theoretical approaches to understanding the dynamics of populations. The first discourse, the one closest to Hobbes's own view, can be traced back to Plato's static model of population. Plato (2016: 737c–d, 183) explains that
as for the mass of the population, there is no way of telling what would be adequate without reference to the land and cities of their neighbors. In terms of land—as much as is adequate to support a certain number of people with modest needs. In terms of population—well, a large enough number to be capable of defending themselves against unjust aggression from adjoining states.
He goes on to conclude that the ideal city-size would be 5,040 (737e, 184). Plato affirms the view that the health of a city is tied directly to its ability to effectively manage population growth in relation to its domestic resources and neighboring threats. If a community's population exceeded its territorial capacity, that nation would fail. Although this classical formulation conceptualizes population as static, this tradition eventually evolved into one that simply emphasized stable growth through effective population management. Population growth rates could trend upward, but steadily, neither rising nor falling too rapidly. They must be linked to a nation's ability to sustain its members in terms of land and economic attainment. This model prioritized much more rigid population control.
On this view, too few citizens would lead to a decline in economic productivity, and too many citizens would lead to disease, idleness, and crime, especially among the young. While these static or stable-growth theories of population of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries rarely spoke in exact numbers, some did. For instance, in Thomas More's Utopia (1516), Utopia's population control policy was designed to prevent any of its fifty-four cities from “being either over- or underpopulated” (More 2001: 66). More explains that since “it is not possible to set a limit on children,” equilibrium can be maintained only by “transferring persons from households with too many people to those with too few” (66). No city could have more than six thousand households, each with ten to sixteen adults. If the population of any Utopian city started to get out of hand, the administrators could redistribute the surplus to neighboring cities, and, if that did not work, they could be sent as “colonists to live under their own laws on the nearest part of the continent, wherever the natives have a lot of land left over and uncultivated” (67).
By the late sixteenth century, the idea that population growth needed to be carefully managed had become entrenched among certain prominent intellectuals in England. Indeed, this was the milieu Hobbes was steeped in. Since, as More had indicated, it is difficult to regulate the number of children people have, proponents of this tradition looked to either colonial expansion or war as mechanisms of population control. Sir Walter Raleigh (1552–1618), for instance, explains that if it were not for natural disasters and war, “arithmetical progression might easily demonstrate how fast mankind would increase in multitude” (Raleigh  1828: 259). This explains the “strong incentive even of those daily wars which afflict the whole earth”; in short, “the want of room upon the earth, which pincheth the whole nation, begets the remediless war” (259).7 In a similar manner Richard Hakluyt (1553–1616) argues that through its colonial policy, Portugal and Spain had been able to “susteine their inhabitaunts,” which England might emulate to “deliver our commonwealthe from multitudes of loyterers and idle vagabondes” due to the fact that “wee are growen more populous than ever” (Hakluyt  1877: 36). For Hakluyt, colonization would be a useful mechanism to solve the problem of English overpopulation and all its attendant evils: “pilferinge and thevinge and other lewnes, whereby all the prisons of the lande are daily pestred and stuffed full of them” (37). Francis Bacon was similarly wary of rapid population growth. He traced the origins of “seditions and troubles” to “want and Poverty in the Estate” (Bacon 1850a: 272). This could be improved if “the Populations of a Kingdom (especially if it be not mowen down by Wars) do not exceed the Stock of the Kingdom, which should maintain them” (272).
Given the difficulty in producing accurate population assessments, it was also not uncommon for those in this tradition to argue that England's colonial policy was depleting the stock of able-bodied workers from the metropole. Roger Coke (1628–1700), for instance, argues that “the Trade of England, and the Fishing Trade, are so much diminished, by how much they might have been supplied by those men who are diverted in our American Plantations” (Coke 1670: 28).8 Whether it was the case that the colonies represented a necessary safety valve for rapid growth or a drain on the nation's able-bodied workers, the implication of both these views is that a wise sovereign ought to carefully assess the size of his population and make the appropriate adjustments.
The second tradition was grounded in the natural law, specifically pertaining to the duty of hospitality, that is, the admission of migrants and refugees. It may seem that this discourse does not conflict with the steady-state theory of growth. After all, some of those who worried about declining population sought to recruit foreign migrants.9 While proponents of the steady-state theory could, from time to time, honor this duty, there is a noteworthy conceptual difference between these two traditions. Since hospitality is cast as a moral duty grounded in the natural law, it is unclear to what extent prudential calculations factored into the criteria of admission. While it was often assumed that God would bless those communities that took in migrants and refugees, it was not guaranteed that economic benefits would follow. Indeed, this tradition presumes there will be trade-offs. Hospitality implies that a political community should consider making some sacrifice for those in need, which included managing potential conflicts that might arise between immigrants and host nationals. Of course, they were not required to undermine their own security, but it established the duty to admit foreigners as a site of moral debate. States were required to consider and, if possible, admit those in need.
The belief that nations would need to make sacrifices to aid those in need had long been established in the Christian tradition. Thomas Aquinas (1873: 8) explains that the “example of the saints” shows that communities have three duties: to permit “strangers to come in unto us”; “to protect our guests from harm”; and “with joy and gladness [to] minister abundantly to their necessities.” On this view, nations had a moral obligation to entertain foreigners, and this included the possibility that those newcomers might permanently settle in the host country. Vitoria (1483–1546) explains that “it is a law of nature to welcome strangers” (Vitoria 2010: 279). While his arguments are designed to defend the right of the Spanish to settle in the Americas, he turns his argument back on Europe: “It would not be lawful for the French to prohibit Spaniards from travelling or even living in France, or vice versa, so long as it caused no sort of harm to themselves” (278).
In a similar manner, Richard Hooker (1554–1600) argues that the “primary laws of nations are such as concern embassage, such as belong to the courteous entertainment of foreigners and strangers, such as serve for commodious traffick, and the like” (Hooker 1989: 98). He goes on to explain that the Lacedaemonians, in “forbidding all access of strangers into their coasts,” had become “enemies to that hospitality, which for common humanity's sake all the nations on earth should embrace” (98). In this tradition, Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) also affirms Strabo's belief that “to drive away refugees . . . is acting like barbarians” (Grotius 1901: 98). He argues that “it is indeed an act of common humanity in a sovereign to allow strangers, at their request, liberty to fix their residence upon any waste or barren lands within his domains, still reserving to himself all the rights of sovereignty” (99).
There existed within this discursive tradition a close symmetry between the right to emigrate and settle and beliefs about trade and economy. In fact, while the justifications for the right to move and settle where one wished were grounded in the natural law, the reasons adduced for these arguments were sometimes economic in nature. It logically followed that a people's survival entailed a right to trade their surpluses with others. Grotius (2001: 8) explains that “the wind [unites] widely scattered people, and yet did so distribute all her products over the earth,” hence making “commercial intercourse” a necessity. As such, no ruler can “debar foreigners from having access to their subjects and trading with them” (8). Commentators within this tradition believed that God intended humans to trade, travel, and settle in and among others. By dispersing natural resources the way He did, and by making waterways navigable, the reasonable conclusion was that political communities were meant not only to accept strangers but to entertain and forge economic relations with others. On this account, it would be a violation of the natural law to prohibit individuals from communicating and trading with others, and this routinely included the right to live and settle in foreign places.10
The third tradition was very much linked to and in some sense an extension of the laws of hospitality. This discourse is typically referred to as “populationism,” the belief that exponential population growth was a sign of economic well-being and political health. Of course, there may seem nothing new to this idea. Arguments about the benefits of large populations go back to ancient Rome.11 However, many of these classical arguments about population sizes were beginning to be rehabilitated during the republican revival of the seventeenth century.12
These ideas gained further credibility through the revolution in demographic theory that began in the mid-seventeenth century. John Graunt's Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality (1662) and William Petty's Political Arithmetick (1669) were able to dispel popular myths and wild speculation about population size. For instance, there had been growing calls to rehabilitate the institution of polygamy, since it was widely believed that England was being depopulated and there were far more women than men. Graunt's and Petty's methodology cut through these speculations, and, for the first time, they were able to offer concrete estimates of population size.
With these advances came a push to develop public policy based on the nascent science of political economy. Among those who supported these new methods, the economic success of the Dutch stood as a strong empirical proof that a large population, sometimes expressed in terms of high population density, was a necessary ingredient to economic strength.13 Indeed, advocates of this tradition saw virtually no limits to the amount of people a country should let in. For instance, John Locke (1997: 324) emphatically claims that “to put this past doubt this is certain: no country can by the accession of strangers grow too full of people.” As such, populationists routinely argued for generous naturalization policies that would allow migrants, refugees, and dissidents to enter and settle, that is, so long as they were willing to work and follow the law.14
Hobbes against Hospitality
Hobbes clearly supported the late Tudor view that population growth should be steady and methodical. He resisted the hospitality discourse that sought to place inordinate external moral duties onto states. States were under no responsibility to admit foreigners, especially if they might cause imbalances or disrupt the political constitution of the public. Indeed, Hobbes's resistance to this discourse can be seen as a concerted strategy to refashion states' relationship to the Christian virtues of charity and hospitality (Cavallar 2002; Patapan 2013).
Quite surprisingly, nowhere does Hobbes mention the duty of hospitality by name, nor does he explicitly address the state's duty to entertain migrants and refugees. It would be difficult to imagine such a duty existing in a Hobbesian state of nature, where the natural law is subordinated to the requirements of survival. There is, however, a brief allusion to this issue when, in On the Citizen, Hobbes (1998: 48) explains that the fourth precept of nature is that “everyone should be considerate [commodus] of others.” In the Leviathan he calls this law “‘compleasance,’ that is to say, ‘that every man strive to accommodate himself to the rest,’” which may even include the redistribution of “things superfluous” (1996: 106). Here Hobbes explains that in entering society, differences of opinion and passion can lead to conflict. Those prone to offense and those unwilling to accommodate others' differences are like an irregular-shaped stone that “takes more space from the others than it fills itself. . . . It prevents the structure from being fitted together, so it is thrown away as unsuitable” (1998: 48). Individuals who follow this law are sociable (Hobbes 1996: 106). While these observations could cover the integration of new immigrant communities, it is unlikely that Hobbes had the accommodation of foreigners in mind when he wrote this, although, when expanding on the scriptural proofs for this precept, he quotes Proverbs 3:30, which reads, “You shall not harass a foreigner” (Hobbes 1998: 61)—at best a passing glance at the issue. Given the prominence of the hospitality discourse in this period, this omission is both conspicuous and strategic. Indeed, it would have been obvious to anyone reading that the duty to be hospitable had no place in the hostile ecosystem of international politics.
In contrast, Hobbes does spend some time addressing the issue of charity; however, it too plays a profoundly truncated role in his political system. He explains that charity is more closely related to “that natural affection of parents to their children . . . that affection wherewith men seek to assist those that adhere unto them. But the affection wherewith men many times bestow their benefits on strangers, is not to be called charity, but either contract, whereby they seek to purchase friendship; or fear, which maketh them purchase peace” (1840e: 49). The picture Hobbes establishes here is rather counterintuitive. The further one moves from the sphere of intimacy, the less charity resembles, well, charity. It is transformed into a contractual or vaguely threatening transaction. Rather than being animated by self-sacrifice or love, it begins to resemble the prudential calculation of an egoist. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that charity is cast in the language of both contract and fear. This implies that how charity is expressed likely will be determined by the capacity of the sovereign to adjudicate exchanges and provide security.
It is difficult to see in Hobbes's thinking how the omission of hospitality and the reformulated virtue of charity would produce the kinds of compassionate reflections that would underwrite an immigration policy. Of course, just to be clear, these arguments do not preclude the admittance of some number of foreigners, but if individuals are admitted it will be for a strategic need rather than based on moral inducement. The plight of others does not induce a moral dilemma for the Hobbesian state. The insecurities of the international system shift the locus of moral responsibility to that of survival, which means that the duty to admit foreigners is necessarily subordinated to the principle of state interest. While the hospitality tradition emphasized the moral duty of political communities to do their best to admit foreigners, the Hobbesian framework radically undercuts the moral impetus for this duty. This is, of course, not to say that the hospitality tradition did not wrestle with the possible tensions that would arise in admitting foreigners; the point is, however, that hospitality required that states make a worthy effort to make accommodations where they could. For instance, even though Grotius (2019: 199) worried that the admission of Jews may lead to “rioting and other problems,” he believed the state had a moral duty to make the effort to integrate them. Hobbes's sovereign is under no obligation to engage in such social experimentation. Just because a state could integrate foreigners does not mean that they are required to do so. The state is given much more latitude to determine what constitutes a threat and therefore to determine if prospective citizens should be allowed to enter.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate Hobbes's challenge to the hospitality tradition is by way of his influence over Samuel Pufendorf (1632–94).15 Unlike Vitoria, Hooker, and Grotius, Pufendorf argues in the Hobbesian tradition that there is no natural duty to admit foreigners; entry is entirely criterial and conditional. Indeed, Pufendorf (1729: III.3.9, 245) argues that “it is left in the power of all States, to take such Measures about the Admission of Strangers, as they think convenient.” States must determine if prospective residents should be allowed to enter and, indeed, if those who have been admitted should be expelled. Unlike others in the hospitality tradition, admittance was not automatic; a state ought to consider what is necessary and convenient for them. While pity and compassion in some small way temper the rigidity of state interest, Pufendorf, like Hobbes, gives much greater leverage to the state. What Pufendorf specifically takes issue with is the idea that a political community would be required to “receive and incorporate a great Multitude” (III.3.9, 245). Unlike Grotius, who took additional steps to admit potentially risky migrants, Pufendorf argues that the admission of strangers must first be governed, he writes, by “Interest and Safety”; one must “temper Pity with Prudence” (III.3.9, 245). Rather than the much more painstaking moral deliberation demanded by the hospitality tradition, for Pufendorf “Reasons of State” override the needs of migrants and refugees.
While Pufendorf agrees with Hobbes that admission is always conditional, governed by the needs and interests of the state, individuals always maintain the right to flee dangerous living conditions. Pufendorf (1729: VIII.8.5, 719) notes that “when a Prince with plain hostile Intentions, threatens the worst and most cruel of Injuries, it is better if we can withdraw ourselves from the Stroke, and either to secure our selves by Flight and Concealment, or to remove into another Country and Government for Protection.” Those individuals suffering from political or religious persecution were free to seek safety elsewhere. While the individual right to exit does not guarantee or necessitate a reciprocal duty on the part of states to admit such refugees, Pufendorf's sovereign ought to at least consider the plight of the refugee in relation to the needs of the state.
While there are some key differences between Hobbes and Pufendorf, the similarities are significant. First, Pufendorf reproduces a framework that further distances the state from the natural law duty to admit foreigners. To the extent that foreigners are admitted at all, this should be fully subordinate to state interest. Second, Pufendorf reproduces Hobbes's framework, which sees individuals as free to exit if their self-preservation had come into question. Hobbes argues that persecuted individuals, those who fear for their safety and security, are free to exit. Hobbes explains that subjects are obligated to obey their sovereign only to the extent that he provides security. He writes, “The obligation of subjects to the sovereign, is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth, by which he is able to protect them” (1996: 153). These subjects may be erstwhile lawful citizens who no longer feel secure in their person under the sovereign or “outlaws” who, having been sentenced to death, naturally and rightly seek to preserve their lives by banding together and resisting their punishment.
When the sovereign lacks the capacity or will to provide security and protection, citizens are free to seek security elsewhere. The same goes for those who have been exiled. As Hobbes (1996: 218) explains, “Exile (banishment) is when a man is for a crime, condemned to depart out of the dominion of the commonwealth, or out of a certain part thereof.” He goes on to explain that “a banished man, is a lawful enemy of the commonwealth that banished him; as being no more a member of the same” (218). Presumably a banished subject, like a persecuted subject or a subject marked for death, is free to seek membership in another commonwealth. Defenseless populations, those no longer secured by the sovereign's power, can seek protection “in another's sword” (153).
Nevertheless, while individuals possess the right of exit, as Pufendorf elaborated, the admission of strangers falls entirely under sovereign prerogative. With a clear eye to the needs of the state, the sovereign may choose to admit or refuse admission to any prospective immigrant. And while it is conceivable that Hobbes's sovereign could permit some small number of foreigners to reside in the state, the duty to admit strangers is entirely subordinated to the “Interest and Safety” of the state. Indeed, those strangers could be expelled at any moment.
Hobbes against the Populationists
That the prerogative to admit foreigners was left exclusively to the sovereign says nothing about his disposition to do so. After all, the populationist tradition also deferred to the decision-making of a “wise and godlike prince” to attract foreign workers; as John Locke (2003: sec. 42, 282) argues, the “increase of lands [hands?] and the right employing of them is the great art of government.”16 As seen above, it was not uncommon for populationists of this period to point to the economic well-being of Holland as a sign that they were being blessed for honoring the natural duty of hospitality. Among these commentators, the duty to admit foreigners was starting to be overshadowed by the positive economic benefits of doing so. Even if a state sees itself as having a right to deny entry to foreigners, the foundational moral duty of hospitality and the potential economic benefits of migrant labor undermine any reflexive disposition to exclude. If the hospitality tradition demanded that states consider accepting strangers out of moral considerations, populationist arguments suppose that embedded in those moral arguments was a recipe for economic prosperity.
In contrast to Locke and the populationists, Hobbes's sovereign would not be able to commit to a policy that professed the indubitable benefits of rapid population growth. Again, while the steady-growth theory that Hobbes adhered to would likely be open to accepting immigrants in certain instances, there is no reason to think he would have accepted the unmitigated value of perpetually admitting multitudes of people. Hobbes does not abhor population growth, but the general naturalization policies promoted by populationists would likely prove too kinetic for Hobbes's sovereign to effectively manage. If populationism relies on the invisible mechanisms of political economy to regulate inflows and outflows, the Leviathan requires a much greater degree of direct control over its populations.
Resistance to the rapid increase of migrants and refugees is entailed in the dangers of overcrowding that Hobbes repeats throughout his work. And in other places he strategically omits references to population density where they would reasonably be expected to show up. For instance, in one off-handed reference to Dutch economic supremacy, he writes that “there have been commonwealths that having no more territory, than hath served them for habitation, have nevertheless, not only maintained, but also increased their power, partly by the labour of trading from one place to another, and partly by selling the manufactures whereof the materials were brought from other places” (1996: 171). While he does not mention Holland by name in this passage, to any seventeenth-century reader, the reference to a small territory made great through trade would have immediately suggested the United Provinces.
Notice that in this passage Hobbes focuses exclusively on Holland's success at becoming a hub of manufacturing raw materials. Their economic power increased through efficiencies in manufacturing, selling, and distributing goods. He explains that the organization of their trade had allowed them to import raw goods from one place and to sell the finished goods to another. A few passages earlier, Hobbes (1996: 170) had indicated that “the nutrition of a commonwealth consisted in the plenty and distribution of materials conducing to life; in concoction or preparation; and when concocted, in the conveyance of it by convenient conduits to the public use.” These descriptions place the focus not on the size or density of the labor force but on the capability and deftness of a sovereign to produce the proper conduits of the economy, where materials and goods efficiently make it to their proper destinations.17 In other words, through this formulation he implicitly rejects those arguments that emphasize the brute force of a large manufacturing base that populationists favored—indeed, descriptions of which were featured in virtually all the analyses of Dutch economic success in this period. Instead, Hobbes highlights the efficiency of production. He rejects the strategy of rapid increase of the labor force in favor of a policy that sees the sovereign carefully planning the intricacies of production and transport. This description certainly represents a dramatic shift away from a key data point used by populationists to justify general naturalization.
It is a striking feature of Hobbes's description of population that he never speaks in terms of concrete numbers. Instead, he refers to populations mostly in relativistic or normative terms. Populations are relative in the sense that they are healthy in relation to the resources that sustain them. They must be small enough to be effectively managed by the sovereign's security apparatus but large enough to defend against foreign enemies. In fact, he explicitly argues that “the multitude sufficient to confide in for our security, is not determined by any certain number, but by comparison with the enemy we fear” (1996: 118). The health of the population was understood through relativistic relationships to territorial capacity and security.
Populations that defy these relativistic ratios of stability would likely lack certain normative qualities groups of people must have if they are to be effectively managed. Quite simply, some populations were constituted better than others. To understand the normative basis of population, notice that Hobbes (1996: 114) makes a qualitative distinction between multitudes that are “made one person,” that is, a unity, and multitudes that are “not one, but many.”18 The initial size and number of contractants is less significant than the degree to which the multitude has truly become a singular entity. In a similar manner he elsewhere explains that the word people is similarly equivocal; it could “signify only a number of men, distinguished by the place of their habitation; as the people of England, or the people of France” (1840e: 145–46). Unless otherwise specified, the people of a place represent merely a multitude of inhabitants—the many. In another sense, Hobbes explains the people could also signify “a person civil, that is to say, either one man, or one council, in the will whereof, is included and involved the will of every one in particular” (146).
It is only in a condition where the disparate many have been annealed into a singular unit that a multitude can be effectively managed. Describing these disconnected multitudes, Hobbes (1996: 118) notes that “if their actions be directed according to their particular judgments, and particular appetites, they can expect thereby no defence, nor protection, neither against a common enemy, nor against the injuries of one another.” When a multitude dissolves, it degenerates into a throng of madness and terror, a mob of competing desires and appetites. As he explains, “For even at that time when men are in tumult, though they agree a number of them to one mischief, and a number of them to another; yet in the whole, they are amongst themselves in the state of hostility, and not of peace” (1840e: 126). It is only in the process of conferring sovereignty onto one man (or an assembly) that the multitude transforms into a singular will, which Hobbes explains “is more than consent, or concord; it is a real unity of them all, in one and the same person, made by covenant of every man with every man” (1996: 129).
Much as is the case with Hobbes's relativistic description of population size in relation to territorial resources and security, when describing the normative quality of populations, he does not speak in numbers. Instead, he repeatedly refers to “crowds,” “throngs,” “rabble,” and “tumultuous numbers of men,” all of which cast certain concentrations of people in a negative light. He explains that only in “a throng, or multitude of people” does fear or “panic-terror” break out (1996: 42).19 Multitudes are “easier to gull,” not to mention the fact that they are prone to ignorance and are “clamorous” (1840c: 211, 284). When possessed by “madness” in the form of bad opinions, “[the multitude] will clamour, fight against, and destroy those, by whom all their lifetime before, they have been protected, and secured from injury” (1996: 55). He explains that what makes an assembly of men tumultuous (i.e., producing an “unlawful tumult”) “is not a set number . . . but such a number as the present officers are not able to suppress and bring to justice,” which again reinforces the link between the ratio of population to security structures and the constitutive quality of the state (1996: 165). Effectively constituted crowds are less tumultuous and easier to manage. When speaking of the merits of monarchy, he explains that “the passions of many men [are] more violent when they are assembled together, than the passions of one man alone” (1840e: 166). Furthermore, he explains that if lawful and well-ordered systems are likened unto “muscles,” unlawful systems (tumultuous crowds) are like “wens, biles, and apostems, engendered by the unnatural conflux of evil humours” (1996: 165).
From these descriptions, there is quite obviously a persistent anxiety in Hobbes's thought. At any moment the state of nature might puncture the well-manicured facade of politico-economic life, and the specter of anarchy might be unleashed anyplace where a multitude of men congregate.20 This concern stems from the residual fear that even a well-regulated multitude might, under certain conditions, become untamable. This is not directly tied to the number but to the quality of its constitution. In fact, Hobbes (1996: 153) explains that the artificial man of the state bears “many seeds of a natural mortality.” The state can, of course, be overwhelmed and destroyed by foreign war, but what is more likely, he explains, is that its demise will come “through the ignorance, and passions of men, it hath in it . . . by intestine discord” (153). The greatest threats to a commonwealth are those that emerge internally, from discordant populations.
In a certain sense, the threat that even a unified multitude represents is much like the compression of water in subterranean caves that Hobbes (1750: 684) speaks of in “Wonders of the Peak at Derbyshire”: “With narrow vent, and entrances but small” the water explodes out of the cavern's mouth—“then as thick troops through narrow portal strain.” One gets the impression that without adequate containment, or when the containment itself becomes unsustainable due to overpressurization, a similar eruption will take place among the multitudes. It is difficult to reduce the problem of populations to mere numbers. So much depends on the constitution of the public, but also on the ability of a sovereign to safely manage the pressures that correspond with population density, adding and releasing some as needed. This suggests that the sovereign must be attentive to the political physics of population density, and in this respect, an island like England with limited tracts of land can withstand only so much pressure before it too would explode.
Nowhere can this anxiety about concentrated multitudes be more readily seen than in Hobbes's explicit aversion to large cities. He notes that one of the possible factors that would lead to the dissolution of the commonwealth is “the immoderate greatness of a town, when it is able to furnish out of its own circuit, the number, and expense of a great army” (1996: 230). When cities grow too strong to be regulated, they might forcefully assert their independence. Having a “great number of corporations,” these cities are like “worms in the entrails of a natural man” (230). Elsewhere he explains that there is an “insincereness, inconstancy, and troublesome humour in those that dwell in populous cities, like mobility, blustering, and impurity of the air” (1840b: 443–44). He also notes that “the air is never universally infected over a whole country, but only in or near to some populous town. And therefore the cause must also be partly ascribed to the multitude thronged together” (1845: 137). He much prefers the court, which radiates a luster “resembling the heavens,” or the country, which, although plain and dull, possesses a “nutritive faculty” (1840b: 444).
For Hobbes, heavily populated cities were prone to disease, factionalism, and other imbalances, which if not addressed would lead to social unrest and the dissolution of the commonwealth. He writes, “It seems not only by this, but also by many examples in history, that there can hardly arise a long or dangerous rebellion, that has not some such overgrown city with an army or two in its belly to foment it” (1840c: 320). Much like the sores and disfigurations to the body politic indicated above, an overgrown city is an imbalanced city. When certain classes become too populous, insecurities and instabilities begin to arise. He explains, for instance, that merchants are “the most beneficial to the commonwealth” since they employ the poor. They help by “making poor people sell their labour to them at their own prices,” which allows them to “get a better living” (321). But when the merchant class grows too powerful, being “natural mortal enemies” of government impositions, like taxation, they may foment rebellion, which is only exacerbated by the fact that large populations are like ready-made standing armies. He explains that given their antipathy to state oversight, merchants “are the first encouragers of rebellion, presuming of their strength” (321). A similar defect occurs when there are too many attorneys. In trying to explain why the number of lawsuits had risen when the population, in his estimation, had stayed the same—he writes, “For I believe this kingdom was as well peopled then as now”—one of the causes he adduces is “the multitude of attorneys” (1840d: 44). These divisions of labor cannot be left unchecked; otherwise, political and economic defects begin to arise. It is by no means clear that market forces, as the populationists were beginning to argue, would sort these problems out. Hobbes's sovereign needed to keep his regulatory finger on the pulse of city life.21
There are also numerous unlawful groups that, when they grow too powerful, threaten the equilibrium of the state: “Beggars, theeves, and gipsies” will form illegal corporations to “better organize their trade of begging and stealing,” and there are additional threats from “secret cabals” (Hobbes 1996: 163, 164). One also catches a glimpse of that moment when sovereign authority begins to break down, for instance, when a sizable group of individuals within society has been sentenced to death. Since, for Hobbes, self-preservation was a fundamental impulse for humans, it may be unlawful for the convicts to resist punishment, but it is not ultimately illegitimate. He explains that “when a great multitude, or heap of people, have concurred to a crime worthy of death, they join together, and take arms to defend themselves for fear thereof” (1840e: 201). As indicated above, the rise of these outlaw factions could pose a decisive challenge to sovereign authority. In such a case, the threat of dissolution becomes very real, that is, if that “heap of people” is not adequately managed.
The normative quality of a commonwealth's population was significant, and it goes a great deal of the way in explaining Hobbes's aversion to the populationist demand for generous naturalization policies. Of course, populationists would not have hoped for the proliferation of thieves and robbers, but they assumed that the dynamics of population increase would produce economic benefits. Competition for jobs would drive down wages, but access to a cheap and plentiful labor force, not to mention the efficiencies of production, would all dramatically increase the supply of consumer goods, which would then lower costs.22 While Hobbes was not in principle opposed to the accession of strangers, he certainly would not rely on the dynamics of population flows to guarantee economic health. For Hobbes, it cannot be underestimated the degree to which his political economy, much less his political theory, presumes a properly constituted population base, not a disparate multitude pieced together by way of the tumult of ad hoc migration inflows as the populationists seemed to allow for.
Hobbes explains that the “temporal good of the people . . . consisteth in four points: 1. Multitude: 2. Commodity of living: 3. Peace amongst themselves: 4. Defense against foreign power” (1840e: 214).23 The fact that “multitude” is listed first is a clear indication that a properly unified population base was crucial to the well-being of the commonwealth. Without a unified and well-contained multitude, there can be no commodious living or domestic and foreign security. But as one reads on, it becomes clear that even though Hobbes believes it is the duty of a sovereign “to increase the people,” here he exclusively refers to “ordinances concerning copulation” (214). Hobbes's theoretical interest in increasing the population predominately relates to replenishing the existing pool by ensuring unproductive modes of procreation, promiscuity, polyandry, and kinship marriages, because they are against the law of nature (Sreedhar 2012). This is further evidence that, all things being equal, Hobbes preferred to see the commonwealth's growth as “natural” and procreative, as opposed to the “unnatural” accretions and buildups that might come with unrestricted inflows of foreigners, the coagulation of “wens, biles, and apostems” of unregulated groups.
While some populationists were concerned that the outgrowth of colonies might detract from a nation's population base (e.g., Petty), many assumed that colonial expansion was, among other things, a feature of economic development (e.g., Child, Davenant, and Locke). In contrast, Hobbes's colonial theory functions much as it does for those who affirm the steady-growth theory of populations. Conceptualizing population growth “naturally,” that is, largely pertaining to policies that encourage procreation, serves to give the sovereign more reasonable control over unwanted surges in population growth. When cities become overcrowded, the sovereign could, much like in More's Utopia, send out the excess population to “vacant” foreign lands. In fact, Hobbes describes this process as another form of procreation. He writes, “The Procreation, or Children of a Common-wealth, are those we call Plantations, or Colonies; which are numbers of men sent out from the Common-wealth, under a Conductor, or Governour, to inhabit a Forraign Country, either formerly voyd of Inhabitants, or made voyde then, by warre” (1996: 175). Several chapters later, he clarifies that this policy is directly linked to increase:
The multitude of poor and yet strong people still increasing, they are to be transplanted into countries not sufficiently inhabited; where nevertheless they are not to exterminate those they find there; but constrain them to inhabit closer together, and not range a great deal of ground to snatch what they find, but to court each little plot with art and labour, to give them their sustenance in due season. (239)
While this ostensibly gives us some notion of Hobbes's view of colonization, these descriptions also give us a general idea of his view of population: the sovereign encourages steady growth through procreative policies, and when population imbalances arise, he should ship excess numbers off to colonial holdings.24 What is more, these excesses become intelligible not through concrete numbers but when groups within the commonwealth appear out of balance, for instance, when there are too many poor laborers and not enough merchants to employ them.
There is, however, one additional aspect to Hobbes's population theory embedded in this formulation. Hobbes argues that advances in philosophy and understanding could, at least in principle, do a great deal to end much of the conflict in the world. There is one thing, however, that such development cannot resolve: population growth. In the “Epistle Dedicatory” to On the Citizen, Hobbes explains that peace and security could be attained by eradicating “false opinions of the common people about right and wrong”; in doing so, the “human race would enjoy such secure peace that (apart from conflicts over space as the population grew) it seems unlikely that it would ever have to fight again” (1998: 5). Hobbes's parenthetical caveat is striking in its implication. All conflict, in principle, could be eradicated through advances in understanding except that which stems from population growth.25 This reflects a similar sentiment that Hobbes presents in the Leviathan. He writes, “When all the world is overcharged with inhabitants, then the last remedy of all is war, which provideth for every man, by victory or death” (1996: 239). When colonists set out to settle in vacant lands, he says that they should not “exterminate” those who settle there. Some of the lands recently may have been made vacant by war. All of this reflects an unsettling undercurrent to Hobbes's theory of population. At some point, there is only so much a sovereign can do to maintain the constitutive equilibrium of a population. Much like the physics of population indicated above, at some point, the tensions that would naturally ensue from a territory being “overcharged with inhabitants” will erupt in a violent conflagration.
Writing in the late Tudor tradition of Raleigh and Hakluyt, Hobbes believes that a sovereign has three options for regulating population growth: he could pass laws encouraging or discouraging procreation; he could ship excess numbers off to colonial holdings; or, when concentrations of people become too dense, he could engage in war, assuming the casualties from that war would be sufficient to eliminate excess numbers. It should be pointed out, however, that war seems to represent less of a policy position than an inevitable feature of the international system. Given the dynamics of population growth and the pressures these forces place on states, war will remain ineradicable. Just to be clear, Hobbes was not an advocate of an aggressive foreign policy (Tuck 2013: 108). In fact, Hobbes presents colonization as an antidote to war (albeit a temporary one), not a ravenous attempt to increase a nation's wealth through mercantilist expansion. In fact, he explains that one of the causes for the dissolution of the commonwealth is “the insatiable appetite, or Bulimia, of enlarging Dominion; with the incurable Wounds thereby many times received from the enemy” (1996: 230). Indeed, an overly expansive colonial policy would dilute and enervate the strength of a nation. In this respect, Hobbes is very close to Bacon, who argues that “for to think that a handful of people can, with the greatest courage and policy in the world, embrace too large extent of dominion, it may hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly” (Bacon 1850b: 285). In short, the world Hobbes envisions is one where, through the careful management of populations, a capable sovereign can maintain the unity of the multitude by producing a strong economic base. Foreign conflict may be inevitable, but an effective sovereign is one who can forestall these conflicts by dutifully maintaining his population for as long as feasibly possible.
This article has attempted to show that there is a clear lacuna in the treatment of Hobbes's economic theory of population. Not only does Hobbes give expression to a view of population that was common among those in the late Tudor period, one of well-regulated, steady, and stable growth, but he also takes critical aim at the traditions of hospitality and populationism. Much of his concern about these traditions that pressured states to accept foreign populations is his fear of poorly constituted publics. A people inhabiting a place could be an unregulated throng or a unified multitude; the differences between these population types could not be greater. The admission of strangers was not, in principle, prohibited, but it posed certain risks that generational growth through procreation did not. Indeed, even multitudes that had been effectively constituted posed an ongoing and indeed perpetual threat. As populations increased, overgrown and overcrowded cities remained the source of lingering instability in Hobbes's thought. They are clearly sites of moral and economic concern. Without sufficient oversight and regulation, the imbalances of populations have the potential to bring internal discord and death to the commonwealth.
For instance, in his pamphlet, The State of England (1600), Sir Thomas Wilson (1972: 751) mocks Botero’s method of estimating population size: “But it shall not be necessary to rove at this matter as Botero, a stranger, hath done who never came within 1000 mile of these countries and yet doth [take] upon him to set down how many souls there be in this kingdom, as he doth of many other, by hearsay.”
See Hobbes Studies’s recent “Research Symposium on Political Economy,” vol. 34, no. 1 (2021).
The term political economy first appeared in a 1615 tract by the French economist Antoine de Montchrétien (1575–1621), Traité de l’économie politique.
This passage is likely a reference to Hobbes’s translation of Thucydides (1843: 122), who explains that Athenian power consists “more in the persons of men than in money.”
Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (2002) uses game theoretical simulations to explore how the Hobbesian and Lockean right of exit may restrict suboptimal domestic distributive outcomes, minimizing exploitation and promoting the general good.
These have been demarcated in different ways, although all trending in a similar direction. See Stangeland 1904, Bonar 1966, Overbeek 1974, Statt 1995, Charbit 2010, and Smith 2020.
For similarities in Raleigh’s and Hobbes’s thought, see Ashcraft 1971.
Some populationists were concerned about emigration to the colonies for the same reason. William Petty (1899: 242) argued that “Ireland and the Plantations in America and other Additions to the Crown, are a Burthen to England.”
For instance, the same Coke who worried about depleting populations above was critical of the law against naturalization, which “debars all Ingenuous men to plant with us” (Coke 1670: 44).
It is difficult to disentangle Grotius’s argument that humans have a right to trade and communicate from his view that states should accept those who seek entry. In a short Remonstrantie (1615), a document written to set out the policy regulations for the integration of Portuguese Jews into Holland and West Friesland, Grotius (2019) actively seeks to integrate Jewish migrants. He explains that states have a moral duty to admit strangers and that there are economic benefits in doing so.
Drawing on Roman sources, Machiavelli (1903: 41) argues that the strength of a state should be measured “through abundance of men.”
Indeed, several twentieth-century theorists see in these early population debates an attempt to rehabilitate Roman naturalization policies. See Robbins 1968 and Pocock 1975. Resnick (1987) sees a division between the revitalized republican tradition and the early liberal tradition that focused on commerce over conquest.
Thomas Mun expresses amazement at Dutch economic supremacy: “For it seems a wonder to the world, that such a small Countrey, not fully so big as two of our best Shires, having little natural Wealth, Victuals, Timber, or other necessary ammunitions, either for war or peace, should notwithstanding possess them all in such extraordinary plenty.” Mun links Dutch prosperity and population size to their fishing industry, “without which it is apparent that they cannot long subsist in Sovereignty; for if this foundation perish, the whole building of their wealth and strength both by Sea and Land must fail” (Mun 1664: 185, 187). Samuel Fortrey likewise marveled at Holland’s economic success, specifically how “by the Profit of their Trade, they excel, in Plenty and Riches, all their neighbor Nations.” But he had come to a different conclusion than Mun about the source of their remarkable achievement: “Two things therefore appear to be chiefly necessary to make a Nation great and powerful, which is, to be rich and populous; and this Nation enjoying together all those Advantages, with Part whereof only, others grow great and flourishing, and withal, a Prince, who above all things, delights and glories in his People’s Happiness” (Fortrey  1744: 3).
It was not uncommon for commentators in this discursive tradition to argue that England should try to rapidly double its population (Fortrey  1744: 40; Blith 1652: “An Appendix”).
Tuck (1999: 142) argues that Pufendorf put forth the first “philosophically serious discussion of Hobbes’s ideas.” For more on Hobbes’s influence on Pufendorf, see Palladini 2008 and Nutkiewicz 1983.
For more on the use of “hands” over “lands,” see Smith 2018: 468.
Several chapters later, Hobbes (1996: 225) chides those who assume that all England needs do to grow rich is to imitate the Low Countries.
For more on this, see Green 2020.
Hobbes did not use the word mob (shortened from mobile vulgus), which did not come into fashion until the late seventeenth century. Shoemaker (1987: 273) explains that it “was first used to denote rioters in London during the Exclusion Crisis.” This may find its roots not just in the English Civil War but in his experience in Malmesbury as a child (McAleavy 2021).
In fact, Hobbes (1840a: 287) explains that “this nation very lately was an anarchy, and dissolute multitude of men, doing ever one what his own reason or imprinted light suggested.”
On this reading, Hobbes is clearly considering dynamics that are operative in the Tiebout (1956) model. The sovereign may seek to regulate and adjudicate unwieldy cities by way of instigating jurisdictional competition between them. Rather than forcibly relocating citizens, as More advocates, it may be enough to instigate competitive pressures between cities. Rather than relying on overzealous central regulation, the sovereign can overcome suboptimal distributions by facilitating the bundling of public goods in discrete jurisdictions.
These are Locke’s arguments. See Smith 2021.
This formulation is used only in The Elements. It is dropped from parallel passages in On the Citizen and the Leviathan. But, as has been attested above, this sentiment is entailed in his description of a unified multitude. For a comparison of Hobbes’s texts, see Hobbes 2017.
There has been a great deal of interest in Hobbes’s involvement in the Virginia colony. See Malcolm 1981, Tuck 1999, Aravamudan 2009, and Baumgold 2010.
For more on this, see Pasqualucci 1990.