|11, 57.5860, 39.7283|
and largest city
|• President of the Republic|
|Legislature||Estates General (États généraux)|
|• Census (2012)||53,045|
|Currency||Livre (£) of 100 cents (= Wesman pound)|
|Drives on the||left|
Cernou - in full The Cernuvian Republic (Franquese: La République Cernuvienne) - is an island mini-state situated in the Vinn Sea off the western coast of Wesmandy. It consists of two main islands - Carnsie and Landie - and three islets.
Cernou is a Franquesification of the Devnunian name Kernaw.
Cernou is divided into twenty communes : thirteen on L'Isle Carnsie and seven on Landie. Each commune has an Assemblé Communitaire, chaired by a Greffier, which is responsible for local administration.
The commune borders have been fixed since 1378, but until 1935? they were known as seigneuries, each headed by a hereditary seigneur (lord). The seigneurs were expelled in the Comnunist revolution of 1935 but had their chateaux restored to them in 1943. Their old seigneural rights and priviledges were not restored.
Since 1942 there have been a number of political attempts to abolish or merge the communes, but all have failed in the face of popular opposition. The nearest to success was the 1984 proposal to replace the communes with three districts, but this was defeated in a referendum by 52% to 48%.
Until 1264 the islands were politically and ethnicly Devnunian, and shared that country's history. The earliest known inhabitants were Pectish, but the islands were overrun by Gaels in the fifth century, before coming into the possession of the Devnunii around 550 CE.
Arrival of Les Chevaliers Franquese (Knight Venturers)
Because of their location, the Kernaw Islands were not greatly affected the Norðmanni and their conflicts with local Caeltig populations. However, after the expulsion of the Norðmanni from Devnun a territorial conflict developed between the Devnunian kingdom and the Wesmans - or Knight Venturers - who had occupied much of northern Devnun during the Norðmanni conflict, and now constituted their own semi-autonomous duchy of Wesmandy.
In 1265, during the final major conflict of the 13th century, a Franquese-speaking contingent of Wesmans, under the command of Sir Guy de Ronfort, was sent in boats round the Dihobarth Peninsula to attack and harrass the Devnuns from the sea. Ronfort's force began by taking control of the Kernaw Islands to use as a base for their attacks on the mainland. Their main port and fortress was established at the mouth of the River Vir on Carnsie Island (Karnsey in Devnunic), and was named after their leader - Ronfort.
When the conflict was brought to a close with the Treaty of Stoneleigh in 1268, the Ronfort knights were permitted to keep the islands, which became a county subject to the Duke of Wesmandy. The arrangement had a double advantage for the Wesmans : it meant that their was a permanent Wesman force to the west of the Devnunii, as well as the main duchy to the north and east; and it kept the Franquese speakers away from the main duchy, where the duke was trying to impose Ingerish as the sole language.
From County to Duchy to Sovereign Duchy
Revolutions and the establishment of the republic
Inept government by Duke Henri IX and his immediate predecessors, combined with ideological unrest in the midst of the Ionadàlban Civil War, led to the overthrow of the duke in in 1937 and the establishment of a communist people's republic (La République Populaire Cernuvienne). No less inept - and probably more corrupt - than the old ducal government, the communist regime lasted only eight years before being overthrown in a popular uprising. After protracted negotiations in the re-established Estates-General, a new constitution was adopted after a referendum in 1946. The referendum had included a separate question of the future of the dukedom, but the people voted 58%-42% in favour of a republic.