rance was Germany's principal rival on the Continent (Britain was sometimes considered a possible ally) and the conflict between Germany and France had been fairly constant since the Franco-Prussian war. The recent disputes in Morocco and continuing French animosity over the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany were two important instances of Germany's view of France as a major power with few good feelings about Germany. In addition, France had allied itself in a mutual defense agreement with Russia. Thus, the Germans concluded that by attacking France, which could mobilize much faster than Russia, they would be able to eliminate French opposition on the western front and turn to concentrate on fighting Russia for control of Central Europe. The Austrians could also provide some assistance in holding off the Russian advance while Germany quickly eliminated France from the equation.
A3. Joseph Collins' thesis is that it is the concentration of the control of food production in the hands of the few that is behind the problem of world hunger. Scarcity of food, the inability to produce an adequate supply for a rapidly growing population, has often been blamed for the problem. But, as Collins notes, improvements in agriculture have produced an adequate supply of food. The problem is that governments, owners of the means of production, and the citizens of industrialized nations wish to use the food supply in ways that place it beyond the reach of the poor. The international debt crisis, the greed of owners, and the eating habits of wealthy societies all combine to produce world hunger.
The industrialized nations (and their financial institutions) emphasize the free market as the basis of all economic interactions and markets respond to those who possess the wealth to buy products -- responding not to the needs of the hungry, but to the cash of the wealthy. The result is that in many nations the hungry remain hungry even in the face of enorm