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Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands. It's a self-governing Dependency of the British Crown, but not part of the United Kingdom. It lies 14 miles west of the Cherbourg peninsula of France in the Bay of St Malo, rather than in the Channel proper.
With a resident population of just under 100,000, Jersey extends some ten miles east-west and six miles north-south. The main town, with a third of the population, is St Helier on the southeast coast. This is the capital and ferry port, guarded by Elizabeth Castle on a tidal island, and has many visitor attractions and facilities. A broad bay sweeps west to St Aubin which is separated by the Portelet headland from St Brélade on another bay with sandy beaches. Most visitors stay in this part of the island, two miles south of the airport. The rest of Jersey is gently rolling country, a quiltwork of small fields with small, straggling villages named for their parish church: St Peter (location of the airport), St Ouen, St Mary, Grouville, Trinity, St John and St Martin. Three others that have become absorbed into St Helier are St Saviour, St Lawrence and St Clement.
== Understand ==
The Bailiwick of Jersey is the name of the political entity, though Jersey itself is the only inhabited island. (By contrast the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a cluster of islands, of which Guernsey itself is the biggest.) However Jersey has outlying islets that are being eroded and were once much bigger. There are many legends of Lyonnesse and lands lost under the sea that hereabouts may have some basis in fact (with other examples around Guernsey, and in the Isles of Scilly across the Channel.)
The Channel Islands' odd status arose because in 1066 William Duke of Normandy gained the crown of England, so he and his descendants ruled many parts of France as well as ruling England. A series of wars, and peace treaties followed by more wars, wrested control of French territory away from England to the growing kingdom of France, until all that remained were these islands. And so they remain today. The Bailiwick of Jersey, like that of Guernsey, is therefore a "Crown dependency". They are not subject to the UK parliament or legislation or - crucially - taxation in any way, but they cede control of defence and most international affairs to the UK.
In practice, that defence meant the British using the Channel Islands to exert their sea power, preferably to the detriment of the French. One 17th-century governor, Sir George Carteret, did the King a few favours and was rewarded with lands in America which he named New Jersey. The islands were fortified against invasion during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars but there was little fighting here. And when France was overrun during the Second World War, the British left the islands to German occupation rather than fight a doomed rearguard action. The Germans likewise fortified and tunnelled against a counter-attack that never came. So Jersey has many bastions and bunkers that were never bombarded and are thus in good condition, and interesting places to visit.
Post-war Jersey returned to its staple occupation, agriculture: the Jersey cow remained highly productive, but was no longer a standard component of dowries. Tourism grew on a small scale and never became a mass-market. The big growth factor was Jersey's low tax, which made it an attractive domicile for international companies and for the very wealthy. (Stress very wealthy - a mere £ / $ millionaire doesn't cut it here.) A quarter of the workforce are engaged in the legal & financial sector, and the mild climate suits prosperous but ageing bones.

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