The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
The Great War

Various European developments in decades prior led to the outbreak of World War I (1914 to 1919): the rise of nationalism, the military build-up of England and Germany, and the creation of a divisive alliance system.  First known as the Great War, the conflict officially began with the assassination of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914. 

As a total war, the Great War required full mobilization of the participating nations.  The United States did not enter the war for years, but almost every aspect of American life was mobilized to support its participation.  Even small locations like the City of Coatesville did everything in their power to ensure American and Allied (Britain, France, Italy, Russia and the U.S.) victory. This is the history of the United States’ and Coatesville’s involvement in and support of World War I, a war that forever changed the world.