Template:Original research Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of his country, state or nation. The term founding fathers may be used if more than one person is considered key.

Usage Edit

Pater Patriae (plural Patres Patriae), also seen as Parens Patriae, was a Roman honorific meaning "Father of the Fatherland", bestowed by the Senate on heroes, and later on emperors.

The founding myths of many nations regard all the people as descendants of a progenitor, who is often eponymous, such as Lusus for Portugal (Lusitania), or Lech, Czech and Rus for Poland (Lechia), the Czech lands, and Rus'.

In monarchies, the monarch was often considered the "father/mother of the nation" or as a patriarch to guide his family. This concept is expressed in the Divine Right espoused in some monarchies, while in others it is codified into constitutional law as in Spain, where the monarch is considered the personification and embodiment, the symbol of the unity and permanence of the nation.

Many dictators bestow titles upon themselves, which rarely survive the end of their regime. Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo's titles included "father of the nation", "older brother", and "Guide of the People".[1] Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire's included "Father of the nation", "the Guide", "the Messiah", "the Helmsman", "the Leopard", "the Sun-President", and "the Cock who Jumps on Anything That Moves".[2] In postcolonial Africa, "father of the nation" was a title used by many leaders both to refer to their role in the independence movement as a source of legitimacy, and to use paternalist symbolism as a source of continued popularity.[3] On Joseph Stalin's seventieth birthday in 1949, he was bestowed with the title "Father of Nations" for his establishment of "people's democracies" in countries occupied by the USSR after World War II.[4]

The title "Father of the Nation" is sometimes politically contested. The 1972 Constitution of Bangladesh declared Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be "father of the nation". The BNP government removed this in 2004, to the protests of the oppostition Awami League, led by Rahman's daughter Sheikh Hasina.[5] A motion in the Parliament of Slovakia to proclaim controversial pre-war leader Andrej Hlinka "father of the nation" nearly passed in September 2007.[6]


The following people are still often called the "Father" of their respective nations.

Name Nation Title (native) Title (translation) Notes
Ismail Qemali
Albania Babai i Kombit Father of the Nation
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi India Rastrapita Father of the Nation He was also called Mahatma, "Great Soul"
Ahmad Shah Durrani Afghanistan Ahmad Shah Baba Father of the Nation[7][8][9] Founder of the Afghan Durrani Empire
José de San Martín Argentina /
Padre de la Patria /
Fundador de la República y Protector del Perú[10]
Father of the Fatherland /
Founder of the Republic and Protector of Peru
Prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain (b. 1778 – d. 1850)
Sir Lynden Pindling The Bahamas Father of the Nation Leader at independence in 1973.[11]
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Bangladesh বঙ্গবন্ধু
(Friend of Bengal)
Father of the Nation Leader at independence in 1971.[12]
George Cadle Price Belize Father of the Nation Former Chief Minister, Premier and two-term Prime Minister before retiring in 1997.[13][14]
Simón Bolívar Bolivia Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain
Dom Pedro I and José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva Brazil Father of the Nation and Patriarch of Independence Founder and the first Emperor of Brazil. Bonifácio was the advisor of Pedro I.
Norodom Sihanouk Cambodia Preahmâhaviraksat The King-Father of Cambodia Leader at independence 1953
Sir John A. Macdonald Canada Prime Minister of Canada First prime minister of Canada, from 1867-1873 and 1878-1891
Bernardo O'Higgins Chile Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Prime leader of Chile's successful struggle for independence from Spain
Sun Yat-sen Republic of China Template:Zh (Guófù) Father of the Nation Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. The Kuomintang (KMT) decreed the title in 1940.
Simón Bolívar Colombia Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain
Gustav I of Sweden Sweden Nationshjälte National hero Broke Sweden from Danish rule under Christian II.
Ante Starčević Croatia Otac domovine Father of the Homeland His diverse activities and works laid the foundations for the modern Croatian state.[15]
Franjo Tuđman Croatia Otac domovine Father of the Homeland his leading towards the creation of modern Republic of Croatia
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Cuba Padre de la Patria[16] Father of the Fatherland[17] Leader of the first Cuban independence movement which fought the Ten Years' War.
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (Karel IV) Czech lands Otec vlasti Father of the Homeland King of Bohemia. Title coined by the rector of the Charles University of Prague at the emperor's funeral[18]
František Palacký Czech lands Otec národa Father of the Nation Politician and historian.[18] Whereas vlast "homeland" included all inhabitants (see Sudeten Germans), národ "nation" comprised only Czech speakers.[19]
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk Czech lands Father of the fatherland First president of Czechoslovakia[18]
Juan Pablo Duarte Dominican Republic Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Defeated Haiti during war of independence
Simón Bolívar Ecuador Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain
Louis–Philippe, Duke of Orléans France Père des Français Father of the French Cousin of Kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X. French general who served in the Napoleonic Wars, got wounded five times at the Battle of Caldiero in 1805. First President of France (1837–45). He was the member of the House of Orléans.
Kwame Nkrumah Ghana Father of the nation First president and prime minister of Ghana, the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve full independence.
Cheddi Jagan Guyana Father of the nation President of Guyana from 1992-1997.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines Haiti Père de la patrie Father of the Fatherland Prime leader of Haiti's successful struggle for independence from France
Sukarno Indonesia Bapak Bangsa/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi Indonesia/Proklamator Father of the Nation/Great Leader of Indonesian Revolution/The Proclamator First President of Indonesia.
Cyrus the Great Iran Father of the Nation Led the Persians in revolt against the Median Empire, established the Achaemenid Empire.
Theodor Herzl Israel חוזה המדינה Visionary of the State One of the firsts who thought about retrieving the jewish nation in the Land of Israel in modern times. Founder of the Zionist movement.
Jomo Kenyatta Kenya Baba wa Taifa Father of the Nation/Freedom Fighter First President of Kenya from 1963 to his death in 1978 who helped create the Kenyan Constitution.
Kim Gu Republic of Korea 민족의 스승 (Minjogui seuseung)/국부 (Gukbu) Great teacher of the Korean people & Father of the Nation Prime leader of the Republic of Korea's successful struggle for independence from Japan
Ibrahim Rugova Kosovo Baba i Kombit Father of the Nation First President of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
Jonas Basanavičius Lithuania Tautos patriarchas Patriarch of the Nation Various cultural activities during the Lithuanian National Revival[20]
Krste Misirkov Macedonia Татко на нацијата Father of the Nation Prominent linguist, writer and activist.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Malaysia Bapa Kemerdekaan Father of Independence The first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Mauritius Father of the Nation[21] First post-independence Prime Minister, in 1968.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Mexico Padre de la patria mexicana[22] Father of the Mexican Nation[23] First revolutionary leader in the Mexican War of Independence.
Sam Nujoma Namibia Founding Father of the Namibian Nation First President of Namibia, 1989–2004; title conferred by Act of Parliament in 2005.[24]
William the Silent Netherlands Vader des Vaderlands Father of the Fatherland Leader of the successful Dutch Revolt against Spain, which led to the Dutch Republic (the first independent Dutch state)[25]
Einar Gerhardsen Norway Landsfaderen Father of the Nation The post–World War II prime minister of Norway[26]
Mohammad Ali Jinnah Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam[27][28] Great Leader Founder of Pakistan, leader of the Muslim League and first Governor-General of Pakistan.
Sir Michael Somare Papua New Guinea Father of the Nation Leader at independence in 1975; also known as "the chief" and "the old man".[29]
Christian J. Radzilowski Poland Krystian Jan Radziłówski Father of the Polish
Father of the Nation[30]
First President of Poland, leader of Polish Army, son of King Charles XIV John of Sweden, known as "Dragoon Prince".
The Philippines
There is no existing law officially recognizing one person in the history of the Philippines as the "Father of the Nation" or "National Hero"; hence, either of the two (2) titles maybe associated with any of the following prominent persons in history who have positively affected the nation to his/her capacity during his/her time:
Emilio Aguinaldo The Philippines Kauna-unahang Pangulo ng Pilipinas Inaugural President of the Philippines Leader of the latter part of the Philippine Revolution and President of the Philippines through the Malolos Congress which oversaw the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution.
Corazon Aquino The Philippines Ina ng Demokrasya Mother of Democracy or Icon of Democracy Three years after the death of her husband, Benigno Aquino, Jr., she led the People Power Revolution that ended the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos and on February 25, 1986, she took oath as President of the Philippines. Her ascension as President also saw the restoration of Democracy in the Philippines. [31]
Andrés Bonifacio The Philippines Pambansang Bayani National Hero De facto President and leader of the Philippine Revolution which saw the armed resistance of Filipinos against the Spanish colonizers. His birthday, November 30, 1863, is commemorated annually as "Bonifacio day," a national holiday.
José Rizal The Philippines Pambansang Bayani National Hero Widely considered as the "brainchild" of the Philippine Revolution and is commonly referred to as the "Philippine National Hero," albeit not officially (in the absence of law recognizing him as such). However, his works and writings are taught in Philippine academic institutions as mandated by Republic Act No. 1425 or informally called, Rizal Law. His death on December 30, 1896 is commemorated annually with the declaration of December 30 as "Rizal day," a national holiday.


Dom Afonso Henriques Portugal Pai da Nação Father of the Nation Founder and king of Portugal, recognized by the Holy See in 1179.
Peter I of Russia Russia Отец Отечества (Otéc Otéčestva) Father of the Fatherland Was granted the title in 1721 by the Governing Senate, along with "Emperor of Russia" and "The Great".[33]
El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Father of the Nation Leader of the Polisario Front, First President of the SADR. Fought against Spanish colonial army & against the invasion of the Moroccan & Mauritanian armies.
Sir John Compton Saint Lucia Father of the Nation Prime Minister at independence in 1979. Also known as "Daddy Compton".[34]
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia والد الأمة (Waalid Al Ummah) Father of the Nation He is the man which unified the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and established the modern Saudi state. He established the House of Saud, the dynasty which rules the country. His tenth son King Abdullah is the current head of state of Saudi Arabia. Four other older sons – Saud, Faisal, Khalid and Fahd – served as former heads of state.
Donald Dewar Scotland Father of the Nation First person elected First Minister of Scotland when the devolved Scottish Parliament was constituted in 1999.[35] Dewar was also credited with securing that constitutional reform.[35]
Dobrica Ćosić Serbia Отац Нације Father of the Nation First President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, political and Serb nationalist theorist.
Lee Kuan Yew Singapore Founding father of Singapore First Prime Minister of Singapore
Primož Trubar Slovenia Oče naroda Father of the Nation A consolidator of the Slovene language and the author of the first Slovene printed book.
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Somalia Father of the fatherland Leader of the first Somali independence movement against the Kingdom of Italy and Great Britain.
Nelson Mandela South Africa Tata wethu Father of the Nation First President of post-apartheid South Africa.[36]
Catholic Monarchs Spain Reyes Católicos de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón Fathers of the nation[citation needed] The unifiers of Spain. They unified the territories of Castille, Aragon and Al-Andalus, all the territories of the Iberian Peninsula, except Portugal. During their reign America was discovered and started the Spanish Empire.
Don Stephen Senanayake Sri Lanka Father of the Nation First Prime Minister, from 1947 to 1952.[37]
Johan Ferrier Suriname Vader des Vaderlands Father of the Nation First president after the independence of the country in 1975 (the term Vader des Vaderlands has its roots in the Netherlands)
Julius Nyerere Tanzania Baba wa Taifa Father of the Nation First President of Tanzania[38]
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Turkey Atatürk Father of the Turks Founder of the Republic of Turkey and first President of Turkey. He led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence, and enacted the reforms that made Turkey a democratic nation-state. Granted in accordance with a 1934 law establishing surnames in Turkey.[39]
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan United Arab Emirates والد الأمة (Waalid Al Ummah) Father of the Nation President of the UAE for its first 33 years (1971–2004)[40][41]
George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and other Signers and Founding Fathers United States Founding Fathers[42][43] The Signers who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Framers who were delegates to the Federal Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed Constitution of the United States
José Gervasio Artigas Uruguay Padre de la independencia uruguaya[44] Father of Uruguayan independence[45] Fought against British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial armies in Río de la Plata.
Simón Bolívar Venezuela Padre de la patria Father of the fatherland Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain

References Edit

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  25. The Oude and Nieuwe Kerk in Delft
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  45. Edelmann, Alexander Taylor (1965). Latin American Government and Politics: The Dynamics of a Revolutionary Society. Dorsey Press. p. 309. "José Gervasio Artigas, who doggedly led his guerrilla bands against the Spanish armies and raised the flag of a free Uruguay, is affectionately remembered by his fellow countrymen as "the father of Uruguayan independence."

See also Edit

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