There is no doubt that for at least a year and a half before we actually entered the war, Wilson had clearly recognized the possibility of our having to do so. As the months of what seemed to be the interminable nightmare which had engulfed a large part of the human race went on, he ceaselessly turned over in his mind what might be the noblest and most useful service to all humanity which the United States could render. The great underlying tensions in the world structure are rarely perceived by the average citizen, who in modern civilized countries is naturally a peace-loving person. By December, 1916, the war had been going on for nearly two and a half years, with no prospect of ending. Wilson was pro-Ally in sympathy, but he was almost wholly concerned with how to prevent in future this recurring disaster to mankind.