What American political figure headed the Anti-Federalists during the 1780s?
Although they claimed to be the true federalists and the true republicans, the men who opposed the Constitution’s unconditional ratification in 1787-1788 were called Anti-Federalists. The leading opponents from the major states included Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee from Virginia, George Clinton, Robert Yates, and Melanchton Smith from New York, John Winthrop and Elbridge Gerry from Massachusetts and Robert Whitehill, William Findley, and John Smilie from Pennsylvania. They all agreed that the document produced by the Convention in Philadelphia was unacceptable without some amendments. The Anti-Federalists generally gravitated toward the views of Thomas Jefferson, coalescing into the Republican Party, later known as the Democratic Republicans, the precursor to today’s Democratic Party.