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Jersey, the Norman Island

You can read about our day-trip to Jersey (26 May 2012) by clicking here (report by Nathalie & Heike) or here (reports by Yves, by Henri).
Or see a slideshow of photos by clicking here.

But on this page, we will tell you some history and things to know about this lovely island.

by Nathalie & Heike

The island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Jersey has a separate relationship to the British Crown from the other Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man.  It isn’t part of the United Kingdom and has an international identity separate from that of the UK, but the United Kingdom is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey. Elizabeth II's traditional title as Head of State is “Duke of Normandy”. The Queen's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He is a point of contact between Jersey ministers and the United Kingdom government. Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy. The government of the state is a Council of Ministers, consisting of a Chief Minister and nine ministers.
Jersey is not a part of the European Union but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods.

castle

Jersey, the whole Channel Islands and the Cotentin peninsula (probably with the Avranchin) came formerly under the control of the duke of Brittany during the Viking invasions, because the king of the Franks was unable to defend them, however they remained in the archbishopric of Rouen. Jersey was invaded by Vikings in the ninth century, and was eventually annexed to the future Duchy of Normandy, together with the other Channel Islands, Cotentin and Avranchin, by William Longsword, count of Rouen in 933 and it became one of the Norman Islands.
When William's descendant, William the Conqueror, conquered England in 1066, the Duchy of Normandy and the kingdom of England were governed under one monarch. The Dukes of Normandy owned considerable estates in the island, and Norman families living on their estates established many of the historical Norman-French Jersey family names.
King John lost all his territories in mainland Normandy in 1204 to King Philip II Augustus, but retained possession of Jersey and the other Channel Islands. The islands have been internally self-governing since then.
On 6 January 1781, a French invasion force of 2,000 men (of whom half died even before they could arrive) landed to take over the island. However, they failed.
The Jersey way of life involved agriculture, milling, fishing, shipbuilding, and production of woollen goods. 19th century improvements in transport links brought tourism to the island.
During World War II, Jersey was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1 July 1940 until 9 May 1945, when Germany surrendered. The Channel Islands were one of the last places in Europe to be liberated.

 

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revised :  / created : 22 June 2012

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click here to read about our Jersey trip (26 May 2012)