Declaration of Independence

Historical content: 
The Revolutionary War and Early America
Historical skills: 
Sourcing

Assessment

Directions: 

Use the image to answer the question below.

Source: 

This lithograph, titled "Declaration of Independence: July 4th 1776," was created between 1835 and 1856 by N. Currier.

Question:

The image, "Declaration of Independence: July 4th 1776," is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Do you agree or disagree?

Briefly support your answer.

About the Assessment

Like The First Thanksgiving, this assessment measures students’ ability to source a document.  When historians interpret a document, they first look to find out who wrote it and when.  This information provides important clues about whether the source provides reliable evidence about the past.  This assessment gauges whether students understand an important aspect of sourcing: the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the event that it depicts.   

Students who understand the importance of when a document was produced will see that this painting is of limited use to historians who wish to understand the drafting of the Declaration of Independence because it was produced over 50 years after the event.