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(nôr`məndē), Fr. Normandie (nôrmäNdē`), region and former province, NW France, bordering on the English Channel. It now includes five departments—Manche, Calvados, Eure, Seine-Maritime, and Orne. Normandy is a region of flat farmland, forests, and gentle hills. The economy is based on cattle raising, fishing, and tourism. In RouenRouen
, city (1990 pop. 105,470), capital of Seine-Maritime dept., N France. Situated on the Seine near its mouth at the English Channel, Rouen functions as the port of Paris, handling an enormous volume of traffic.
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 (the historic capital), Le Havre (see Havre, LeHavre, Le
, city (1990 pop. 195,932), Seine-Maritime dept., N France, in Normandy, at the mouth of the Seine River on the English Channel. It was founded in 1517 as Le Havre-de-Grâce by Francis I. Le Havre became a major seaport in the 19th cent.
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), and CherbourgCherbourg
, city (1990 pop. 28,773), Manche dept., NW France, in Normandy, on the English Channel, at the tip of the Cotentin peninsula. It is a naval base and seaport, and a major industrial center where submarines, oil tankers and platforms, electronics, and metals are
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 there are also shipbuilding, metalworking, oil-refining, and textile industries. Normandy has outstanding beach resorts, notably Deauville, Granville, and Étretat. It is known too for its many old fairs and festivals. Mont-Saint-MichelMont-Saint-Michel
, rocky isle (1993 est. pop. 72) in the Gulf of Saint-Malo, an arm of the English Channel, Manche dept., NW France, 1 mi (1.6 km) off the coast, near Avranches.
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 lies off the coast where Normandy and Brittany meet.

Part of ancient GaulGaul
, Lat. Gallia, ancient designation for the land S and W of the Rhine, W of the Alps, and N of the Pyrenees. The name was extended by the Romans to include Italy from Lucca and Rimini northwards, excluding Liguria.
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, the region was conquered by Julius Caesar and became part of the province of Lugdunensis. It was Christianized in the 3d cent. and conquered by the Franks in the 5th cent. Repeatedly devastated (9th cent.) by the Norsemen, it finally was ceded (911) to their chief, Rollo, 1st duke of Normandy, by Charles III (Charles the Simple) of France. The Norsemen (or Normans), for whom the region was named, soon accepted Christianity. Rollo's successors acquired neighboring territories in a series of wars.

In 1066, Duke William (William the Conqueror), son of Robert I, invaded England, where he became king as William I. The succession in Normandy, disputed among William's sons (Robert II of Normandy and William II and Henry I of England), passed to England after the battle of Tinchebrai (1106), in which Henry defeated Robert. In 1144, Geoffrey IV of Anjou conquered Normandy; his son, Henry Plantagenet (later Henry II of England), was invested (1151) with the duchy by King Stephen of England. It was by this series of events that branches of the AngevinAngevin
[Fr.,=of Anjou], name of two medieval dynasties originating in France. The first ruled over parts of France and over Jerusalem and England; the second ruled over parts of France and over Naples, Hungary, and Poland, with a claim to Jerusalem.
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 dynasty came to rule England, as well as vast territories in France, Sicily, and S Italy, where the Normans had begun to establish colonies in the 11th cent.

Normandy was joined to France in 1204 after the invasion and conquest by Philip II. Normandy was again devastated during the Hundred Years WarHundred Years War,
1337–1453, conflict between England and France. Causes

Its basic cause was a dynastic quarrel that originated when the conquest of England by William of Normandy created a state lying on both sides of the English Channel. In the 14th cent.
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 (1337–1453). The Treaty of Brétigny (1360) confirmed Normandy as a French possession, but Henry V of England invaded the region and conquered it once more. With the exception of the larger Channel Islands, Normandy was permanently restored to France in 1450, and in 1499, Louis XII established a provincial parlementparlement
, in French history, the chief judicial body under the ancien régime. The parlement consisted of a number of separate chambers: the central pleading chamber, called the Grand-Chambre; the Chambre des Requêtes
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 for Normandy at Rouen.

The Protestants made great headway in Normandy in the 16th cent., and there were bitter battles between Catholics and HuguenotsHuguenots
, French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates. Origins

Prior to Calvin's publication in 1536 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
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. Louis XIV sought to complete the assimilation of Normandy into France, and in 1654 the provincial estates were suppressed. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) led to a mass migration of Huguenots from Normandy and a grave economic setback for the region. In the 18th cent., however, prosperity returned. In 1790 the province, with others in France, was abolished and replaced by the present-day departments. In World War II, Normandy was the scene of the Allied invasion (1944) of Europe. In 1972 the administrative regions of Upper and Lower Normandy were established; they were merged to form the region of Normandy in 2016.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a historical region in northwestern France, on the English Channel, lying mainly in the basin of the lower Seine (Paris Basin) and partially on the Cotentin Peninsula. Today, Normandy is divided into the departments of Seine-Maritime, Eure, Calvados, Manche, and Orne. The main cities are Rouen, Le Havre, Caen, and Cherbourg. Area, 30,200 sq km. Population, 2.9 million (1973).

Eastern Normandy falls within the Paris economic region, and western Normandy is part of the northwestern economic region. The chief branch of agriculture is livestock raising (Normandy dairy cows), and the region is a major producer of milk and cream. It is also an important fruit-growing region, known for its apple cider and calvados. The leading industries are ferrous metallurgy (Caen), machine building, primarily shipbuilding (Rouen, Le Havre, and Cherbourg), petroleum refining (around Rouen and Le Havre), textiles, chemicals, and food processing. Seaside resorts include Dieppe and Trouville. The region attracts many tourists.

Normandy derives its name from the Normans, who conquered the area around the mouth of the Seine in the early tenth century. The conquest was reinforced by a treaty concluded in 911 between Rollo, the leader of the Normans, and the French king Charles III the Simple. The resulting Duchy of Normandy, with its capital at Rouen, was independent, although it nominally remained part of France. Between 924 and 933 the duchy expanded in the west to include Lower Normandy. The Norman conquerors intermarried with the local population, adopted the French language (creating a Norman dialect), and retained French feudal institutions. Normandy achieved a relatively high level of agricultural development. The dependent peasants, burdened with many seignorial obligations, rebėlled frequently, the largest uprisings occurring in 997 and 1042.

In the 11th century William II, duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087, annexed the county of Maine and part of the county of Anjou. In 1066 he conquered England, and Normandy became part of an Anglo-Norman state (the English kings were simultaneously dukes of Normandy). In 1202–04, Normandy was conquered by the French king Philip II Augustus (confirmed by a treaty in 1259), but the area retained special rights and privileges, including urban self-government. The first provincial assemblies (estates) were convened in the 13th century. After an uprising of powerful feudal lords in 1315, Louis X reaffirmed Normandy’s privileges. During the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453), Normandy was devastated; from 1417 to 1419 it was ruled by the English. An important role in the expulsion of the English in 1449–50 was played by a broad-based partisan movement. In 1468, Louis XI incorporated Normandy into the royal domain as a province. At the beginning of the 16th-century religious wars, Calvinism spread throughout the province, and the Huguenots seized several cities, including Rouen. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 led to a mass emigration of Huguenots from Normandy to England and Germany.

In the 16th and 17th centuries Normandy was one of France’s most highly developed commercial and industrial provinces, producing textiles, cotton, lace, glass, and iron goods. It traded with England, the Netherlands, the Mediterranean countries, and the colonies. The development of commodity-money relations was accompanied by the imposition of increasingly heavy taxes, which caused many popular uprisings in the 17th and 18th centuries, the largest of which was the uprising of the Va-nu-pieds (“barefeet”) in 1639. When France was divided into departments in 1790, the province of Normandy ceased to exist.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a former province of N France, on the English Channel: settled by Vikings under Rollo in the 10th century; scene of the Allied landings in 1944. Chief town: Rouen
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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