Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
That's what leads to equilibrium traps, where agricultural production increases are matched almost exactly by increases in population. If you can't get cheap land you start bottlenecking pretty hard, and then famines break out.

For the vast majority of human existence, your population grew as long as you had enough food and enough land to cultivate that food. When you didn't get that land? Your population reacted the same way as any other animal that outgrew its ecological niche. It collapsed. Famines, plagues, wars, until the population stabilizes or you get more food.

This is called the Malthusian trap.

This has been going on for millenia until sometime in the industrial revolution we managed to increase our food supply faster than our populations. This is one of the few times by which we actually can look at stuff and *not* be worried about food. By the way, it's also one of the reasons why stuff was so **** back then. Not enough stuff to go around, so it was based around making sure a large population had no stuff.