What if Mexico Still Included California, Nevada and Texas?

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Tomas Van Houtryve followed Mexico’s long-forgotten northern boundary to meet families who have lived in the region, now forming part of the United States, for centuries. His project, “Lines and Lineage,” is featured in The New York Times Lens Blog

Mr. van Houtryve, 44, wanted to challenge what he calls the West’s “puffed-up mythology” in which Hollywood nurtured the view that the expansion of the United States spread ideas like equality, liberty and democracy in conquered lands.

“In reality, these values arrived in the West straight from Mexico City,” said Mr. van Houtryve, who was raised in California and now lives in Paris. “The main ideological import of Anglo-Americans to the West at the time was actually strident white supremacy.”