Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 35
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AMS    35    AMS

1,096, and 7,292 inhab. It is 25 m. AV. of Beau-
maris, and 266 N. AV. of London. See

Amman, a town of Syria, anciently the capital
of the Ammonites, called Rabbah Ammon, and by
the Greeks Philadelphia, and now the principal
place of a district. It is 30 m. S. W. of Bosra,
and 52 N. of Jerusalem.

Amol, a town of Usbec Tartary, in Bucharia,
and a place of considerable trade. It is seated on
the Amu, which falls into the sea of Aral, 60 m.
VV. of Bucharia. Long. 60. 40. E. lat. 39. 20. N.

Amol, a town of Persia, in Mazanderan, with
the remains of an ancient fortress and palace. It
has manufactures of cotton, and in the neighbour-
hood are iron mines and cannon founderies. It
stands in a plain, at the foot of Mount Taurus,
and on the borders of the Caspian sea, 30 m. N.
W. of Ferabad. Long. 52. 38. E. lat. 37. 30. N.

Amonoosuck, Upper and Lower; two rivers
rising among the AVhite-Mountains and flowing
into the Connecticut; each about 50 m. long.

Amorgo, an island of the Archipelago, fertile in
wine, oil, and corn. The best cultivated parts
belong to a monastery. It is 30 miles in circum-
ference, and 67 north of Candia. Long. 26. 15.
E. lat. 36. 20. N.

Amoskeag falls, on the Merrimack, in N. Hamp-
shire. 15 m. below Concord, consist of 3 pitches
within half a mile, descending about 50 feet. A
canal passes round them.

Amour, or Amur, river of Chinese Tartary.

Amoy, an island on the S. E. coast of China,
15 miles in circumference. The English had a
factory here, but abandoned it on account of the
impositions of the inhabitants. Its port, on the
west side, is capable of receiving 1,000 ships.
Long. 118. 45. E. lat. 24. 20. N.

Amplepuis, a town of France, in the department
of Rhone, celebrated for its wines. It is 16 m.
AV. of Villefranche, and 26 N. W. of Lyons.

Ampthill, a town in Bedfordshire, with a mar-
ket on Thursday. It was the residence of Cath-
arine, queen of Henry VIII. during the time that
her unjust divorce was in agitation. This event
is commemorated by a poetical inscription on a
column where the old castle stood. It is situate
2 hills, 6 m. S. of Bedford, and 45 N.
AV. of London. Pop. 1,527.

'Ampurias, a sea-port of Spain, in Catalonia, at
the mouth of the Fluvia, 70 m. N. E. of Barcelo-
na. Long. 3. 0. E. lat. 42. 9. N.

Amras, a castle or palace of Germany, in Tyrol,
at tiie foot of a mountain, 2 m. S. E. of Inspruck.

Amsterdam, the principal city of Holland Pro-
per, the capital of the northern division of the
Netherlands, and formerly of the republic of the
Seven United Provinces, is situated at the conflu-
ence of the rivers Amstel and Y, or AVye,near
the south-western extremity of the Zuyder Zee.
90 m. N. Hv E. from Antwerp, in lat. 52. 25. N.
long. 4.40. E. Pop. 180,000. This city was un-
known in history before the latter end of the thir-
teenth cen’urv. and was then noticed only as a
collection of fishermen’s huts in the middle of a
morass. It first acquired a commercial character
about tlie year 1371', but was not fortified till the
end of the succeeding century ; after which period
it gradually increased in magnitude and mercan-
tile celebrity, yet not without experiencing some
severe check. In 1512 it was besieged by the
people of Guelderland. who, on failure of their
attempt to take the city, set fire to the shipping
in the harbour. During the same century its
tranquillity was disturbed hy tumults and insur-
rections occasioned by the anabaptists ; in one of
which Van Geelen, the leader of these enthu-
siasts, led his followers openly in military arrav,
with drums beating and colours flying to the town
house, where he fixed his head quarters. He was
however, soon dispossessed. The magistrates
assembled the burghers, who showed no disposi-
tion to take part with the insurgents, and being
aided by some regular troops, surrounded the
place ; and after an obstinate resistance, he and
the whole of his surviving band were taken pris-
oners, and put to death under circumstances of
extreme cruelty. The city was taken possession
of by the Hollanders in 1578, on condition that
the religious lights of the Roman Catholic citi-
zens should be respected. The condition was but
ill observed ; for all the ecclesiastics of both sexes
were driven out of the city, the images broken,
and the altars demolished. From this period its
opulence and splendour increased with an almost
uninterrupted rapidity till its connection with the
revolutionary government of France, which caus-
ed a total annihilation of its commerce during the
continuation of the union of the countries.

One cause of the advancement of Amsterdam
was the decay of Antwerp, occasioned chiefly by
the closing of the navigation of the Scheldt; an-
other, which also concurred in securing the sta-
bility of its commerce, was the erection of the
public bank. This establishment was instituted
in 1609, in order to obviate the inconveniences
arising from the very debased state of the curren-
cy of Holland, which was made up of coins
brought from every part of the world. Merchants
often found it difficult to procure standard coin to
pay their bills but as the bank received the light
and worn out coin at its intrinsic value, an inva-
riable standard was thus formed which tended
greatly to simplify the operations of trade. The
amount of the capital of the bank was never cor-
rectly ascertained, though it is said to have in-
creased in the period of its prosperity to upwards
of forty millions sterling of actual deposits. These
originally consisted of coined money, but after-
wards large quantities of gold and silver bullion
were received. After the French invasion in
1795 it was ascertained, however, that its boasted
treasures were imaginary; the precious metals
had been lent out by the directors to different
public bodies, whose bonds were deposited in their

In consequence of its extensive commercial
credit7 Amsterdam was long the centre of ex-
change for Europe; but from the time that a
want of confidence in the bank began to be felt,
a great part of the exchange transactions have
been carried on in London and Hamburgh.

In the year 1757 this city suffered considerably
from the explosion of a powder magazine, by~
which manv buildings were destroyed. During
the internal troubles that agitated the republic m
1797, it was occupied by the Prussians, who main-
tained possession of it for a year; afterwards, in
1895, it submitted to the French; and when the
United Provinces were incorporated into the body
of the French empire under Napoleon, Amster
dam was considered the third city in rank, being
deemed inferior only to Paris and Rome.

The government is vested in a council calleu
Vroedschap, of thirty-six members, in whom tlm
supreme power is lodged. The office is held
during life, and vacancies are filled by the survi-
vors. This body elects the chief magistrates,

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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