Today’s Federalism reading comes from th…

Today’s Federalism reading comes from the 3rd section of the 43rd chapter: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered (continued).

But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author.

In essence, it is important to define treason in the Constitution, lest “violent factions” attempt to define each other as treasoners in order to hold them up before the nation on high charges.

Most interesting part? “the natural offspring of free government”. The founders knew their system would be abused, they just didn’t realize quite how.