World War I

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I'm writing an essay on how the Alliance system was the main cause of World War I, but I'm having trouble with coming with my three main body paragraph ideas.

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World War I and the alliances that precipitated it can only be understood if we look at what happened in Europe in at least the hundred years or so prior to 1914.

Europe had not seen a massive, continent-wide war since the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in June, 1815. The victorious powers at that time then did their best to turn back the clock and restore the status quo ante bellum as it had existed in 1789, prior to the French Revolution. But this proved impossible. Apart from the fact that liberal social changes had been introduced throughout continental Europe by the French armies when they had been victorious, a major change in the overall balance of power was the emergence of Russia as a near equal to Britain and (restored monarchical) France.

At the same time, the dissolution of the old Holy Roman Empire that had constituted the German states meant, ironically, that the Germans, spurred on by the nationalism animating all of Europe, were in a better position to attempt...

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