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Victor Hugo's European Utopia

EDWARD OUSSELIN
Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Vol. 34, No. 1/2 (FALL—WINTER 2005-2006), pp. 32-43
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23537726
Page Count: 12
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Victor Hugo's European Utopia
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Abstract

In Hugo's texts, the "end of history" came to be embodied by what he called the United States of Europe. As a liberal republican, Hugo became increasingly concerned with the role of the People — as opposed to the exceptional Great Men, such as Napoleon, that he had long admired — in shaping this historical end. The vision of a united Europe became central to Hugo's providential projection of historical finality, his secularized version of Christian eschatology. Among all the prophets of European unity, Hugo delivered the most vivid and eloquent pronouncements, thereby producing impossibly high expectations as to its potential value.

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