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AMPLITUDE (from Lat. amplus, large)

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 894 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AMPLITUDE (from Lat. amplus, large), in astronomy, the angular distance of the rising or setting sun, or other heavenly body, from the east or west point of the horizon; used mostly by navigators in finding the variation of the compass by the setting sun. In algebra, if a be a real positive quantity and w a root of unity, then a is the amplitude of the product aw. In elliptic integrals, the amplitude is the limit of integration when the integral is laboured to prevent the extreme partisans of papal infallibility from having everything their own way. But in his capacity of clear-headed observer, whose business it was to reflect the actual truth upon the mind of his government, he was obliged to make it quite clear that they had no chance whatever, and in conversing with those whose opinions were quite unlike his own, such as Cardinal Manning, he seems to have shown that he had no illusions about the result of the long debate. In 1868 Odo Russell married Lady Emily Theresa Villiers, the daughter of Lord Clarendon. In 187o he was appointed assistant under-secretary at the foreign office, and in November of that year was sent on a special mission to the headquarters of the German army, where he remained till 1871. It was in connexion with this mission that an episode occurred which at the time threw much discredit upon Gladstone's government. Russia had taken advantage of the collapse of France and her own cordial relations with Prussia to denounce the Black Sea clauses of the treaty of Paris of 1856. Russell, in an interview with Bismarck, pointed out that unless Russia withdrew from an attitude which involved the destruction of a treaty solemnly guaranteed by the powers, Great Britain would be forced to go to war " with or without allies." This strong attitude was effective, and the question was ultimately referred to and settled by the conference which met at London in 1871. Though the result was to score a distinct diplomatic success for the Liberal government, the bellicose method employed wounded Liberal sentiment and threatened to create trouble for the ministry in parliament. On the 16th of February 1871, accordingly, Gladstone, in answer to a question, said that " the argument used by Mr Odo Russell was not one which had been directed by her Majesty's government," that it was used by him " without any specific instructions or authority from the government," but that, at the same time, no blame was to be attached to him, as it was " perfectly well known that the duty of diplomatic agents requires them to express themselves in that mode in which they think they can best support and recommend the propositions of which they wish to procure acceptance." This Gladstonian explanation was widely criticized as an illegitimate attack on Russell. What is certain is that the foreign office and the country profited by Russell's firmness. (See Morley's Gladstone, ii. 534•) A little later in the same year he received the well-deserved reward of his labours by being made ambassador at Berlin. During the months he passed at the foreign office he was examined before the committee of the House of Commons, already alluded to, and had an opportunity of stating very distinctly in public some of his views with regard to his profession. " If you could only organize diplomacy properly," he said, " you would create a body of men who might influence the destinies of mankind and ensure the peace of the world." In these words we have the key to the thought and habitual action of one of the best and wisest public servants of the time. Russell remained at Berlin, with only brief intervals of absence, from the 16th of October 1871 till his death at Potsdam on the 25th of August 1884. He was third plenipotentiary at the Berlin congress, and is generally credited with having prevented, by his tact and good sense, the British prime minister from making a speech in French, which he knew very imperfectly and pronounced abominably. In 1874 Odo Russell received a patent of precedence raising him to the rank of a duke's son, and after the congress of Berlin he was offered a peerage by the Conservative government. This he naturally declined, but accepted the honour in 1881 when it was offered by the Liberals, taking the title of Baron Ampthill. He became a privy councillor in 1872 and was made a G.C.B. somewhat later. At the conference about the Greek frontier, which followed the congress of Berlin, he was the only British representative. During all his long sojourn in the Prussian capital, he did everything that in him lay to bring about close and friendly relations between Great Britain and Germany. He kept on the best of terms with Bismarck, carefully avoiding everything that could give any cause of offence to that most jealous and most unscrupulous minister, whom he, however, AMRAOTI did not hesitate to withstand when his unscrupulousness went the length of deliberately attempting to deceive. He was succeeded as and baron by his son, ARTHUR OLIVER VILLIERS RUSSELL (b. 1869), who rowed in the Oxford eight (1889, 1890, 1891) and became a prominent Unionist politician. He was private secretary to Mr Chamberlain, 1895-1897, and governor of Madras, 1899-1906. In 1904 he acted temporarily as Viceroy of India. (M. G. D.)
End of Article: AMPLITUDE (from Lat. amplus, large)
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AMPLIATIVE (from Lat. ampliare, to enlarge)
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