The Isle of Man is not just an island. It is a small, but successfully independent country with institutions and traditions that span more than a thousand years. Tynwald was an effective parliament long before Westminster, while the Manx Church predates the dioceses of both Canterbury and York. Its position in the Irish Sea has allowed the Manx identity to flourish and has ensured a succession of strong influences from seaborn settlers and rulersIrish, Norse, Scots, and English. Though all have left their mark, the island remains unmistakably Manx.