Before the US joined WWI, we did our best to stay out of the conflict. One of the reasons was because economically it made sense. While Europe was tearing themselves apart, the US could sit back and trade with all sides. It was WWI that finally made the US a leading economic power in the world. Both sides in the war tried to stop us from trading with the other. The difference was that the Allies confiscated our property while the Central Powers, who had used all their navy budget on submarines, were taking lives when they sunk ships.