What economic factors influenced Americans to stay neutral during World War I?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The simple answer to this question is that World War I was very profitable for the United States.  The economy, which was sluggish at best before the war, received a major bump through trading with the Allied Powers.  The countries of the Allied Powers needed goods to successfully execute the war since their economies were disrupted by the conflict.  Trade with England and France had almost quadrupled to over $3 billion between 1914 and 1916.  By almost every economic measure, the United States benefited from neutrality.  Gross National Product, Stock Market Prices, employment, and new industry all grew during the early period of the war.  While entering the war would also be good for many industries in the U.S., neutrality was much more profitable.  The United States also loaned billions of dollars to the Allies to purchase more goods.  Unfortunately, this gave the United States a large stake in the outcome of the war.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial