Many students of Franklin discuss his Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc., as a precursor of Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population? overlooking the more significant fact that Franklin's essay is part of an extensive movement to analyze population trends, a movement dating at least from John Graunt's Natural and Political Observations … upon the Bills of Mortality (1662). Just as every writer on physics from Newton to Einstein has something to say aboutmotion, Franklin and Malthus as writers on population naturally discuss some common concepts. The similarities are not remarkable. As John Adams observes, “That the first want of man is his dinner, and the second his girl, were truths well known to every democrat and aristocrat, long before the great philosopher Malthus arose, to think he enlightened the world by the discovery.” The real significance of Franklin's essay lies in its influence in drawing attention to the potential economic and military strength of the Colonies and hence in contributing indirectly to the restrictive measures of the British colonial policy, the very policies that it was written to forfend.