The French Vision of Europe from Victor Hugo’s United States of Europe to the No to the Constitution


  • Michel Viegnes


Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is one of the few nineteenth century European writers and intellectuals who, during this very nationalistic epoch, expressed a consistent theory of European political and economic unification. The idea of the « United States of Europe » is as far-reaching and, for most people, utopian today as it was in his time. Nonetheless, some of Hugo’s ideas have materialized, such as monetary union, and the disappearance of national borders within the Schengen heartland. This paper tries to evaluate the complex interplay, in European integration, between utopia and realpolitik.