Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, French: Bailliage de Jersey, is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs.
Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems.
The island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Although the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as 'the Channel Islands', they are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey has a separate relationship to the British Crown from the other Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It is not 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.
During the 16th century the islanders adopted the Protestant religion and life became very austere. The increasing use of gunpowder on the battlefield meant that the fortifications on the island had to be adapted and a new fortress built to defend St Aubin's Bay. The new Elizabeth Castle was named after the queen by Sir Walter Raleigh when he was governor.
The production of knitwear reached such a scale that it threatened the island's ability to produce its own food and so laws were passed regulating who could knit with whom and when. The islanders also became involved with the Newfoundland fisheries at this time. During the 1640s England was split by Civil War and hostilities spread into Scotland and Ireland as well. Jersey was divided and while the sympathy of islanders lay with Parliament the de Carterets held the island for the king.
The future Charles II visited the island in 1646 and again in 1649 following the execution of his father. It was in the Royal Square in St. Helier on February 17, 1649 that Charles was publicly proclaimed king after his father's death (following the first public proclamation in Edinburgh on February 5, 1649). Parliamentarian forces eventually captured the island in 1651. In recognition for all the help given to him during his exile, Charles II gave George Carteret, Bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the American colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey, now part of the United States of America.
Towards the end of the 17th century Jersey strengthened its links with the Americas when many islanders emigrated to New England and north east Canada. The Jersey merchants built up a thriving business empire in the Newfoundland and Gaspé fisheries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jersey