Napoleon's Retreat

Historical content: 
Slavery and Westward Expansion
Historical skills: 
Sourcing

Assessment

Directions: 

Use the image to answer the question below.

Source: 

This image, titled "The burning of Moscow, September 14, 1812; the retreat of Napoleon," was created in 1894 by the American Fine Art Company.

Question:

The image, "The burning of Moscow," is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812.

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 Napoleon's invasion of Russia because it was produced over 80 years after the event.