Father of the Nation
This article possibly contains original research. (June 2013)
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. 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. 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. In Thailand, the monarch is given the same recognition, and demonstrated loyalty is enforced with severe criminal statutes.
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". 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". 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. 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.
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. A motion in the Parliament of Slovakia to proclaim controversial pre-war leader Andrej Hlinka "father of the nation" nearly passed in September 2007.
The following people are still often called the "Father" of their respective nations. Highlighted names indicate people who are still living.
|Name||Nation||Title (native)||Title (translation)||Notes|
|Skanderbeg||Albania||Babai i Kombit||Father of the Nation|
|Ahmad Shah Durrani||Afghanistan||Ahmad Shah Baba||Father of the Nation||Founder of the Afghan Durrani Empire|
|José de San Martín||Argentina /
|Padre de la Patria /
Fundador de la República y Protector del Perú
|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.|
|Sheikh Mujibur Rahman||Bangladesh||Jatir Janak /
|Father of the Nation /
Friend of Bengal
|Leader at independence in 1971.|
|George Cadle Price||Belize||Father of the Nation||Former Chief Minister, Premier and two-term Prime Minister before retiring in 1997.|
|Dom Pedro I and José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva||Brazil||Pai da Nação e Patriarca da Independência||Father of the Nation and Patriarch of Independence||Founder and the first Emperor of Brazil (1822). Bonifácio was the advisor of Pedro I.|
|Omar Ali Saifuddien III||Brunei||Architect of Modern Brunei||Builder of the Modern Nation and Father of Independence||28th Sultan of Brunei and First Minister of Defence (b. 1914 – d. 1986)|
|Norodom Sihanouk[dubious ]||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|
|Simón Bolívar||Venezuela– Colombia– Ecuador– Peru –Bolivia and Panama||Libertador||Liberator||Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain|
|Ante Starčević||Croatia||Otac domovine||Father of the Homeland||His diverse activities and works laid the foundations for the modern Croatian state.|
|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||Father of the Fatherland||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|
|František Palacký||Czech lands||Otec národa||Father of the Nation||Politician and historian. Whereas vlast "homeland" included all inhabitants (see Sudeten Germans), národ "nation" comprised only Czech speakers.|
|Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk||Czech lands||Father of the fatherland||First president of Czechoslovakia|
|Juan Pablo Duarte||Dominican Republic||Padre de la patria||Father of the fatherland||Defeated Haiti during war of independence|
|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|
|Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi||India||Rashtrapita||Father of the Nation (Not an official declaration) ||He was also called Mahatma, "Great Soul"|
|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.|
|Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia||Italy||Padre della Patria||Father of the Fatherland||First king of a united Italy since the 6th century|
|Nursultan Nazarbayev||Kazakhstan||Елбасы (Elbasy)||Leader of the Nation||First (and currently only) President of Kazakhstan|
|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).|
|King Saint Stephen I||Hungary||Nemzetalapító||National Founder||As the first Christian king of Hungary, he is widely recognized as the founder of Hungary as a European country. His feast day, August 20, is celebrated as a national holiday.|
|Jonas Basanavičius||Lithuania||Tautos patriarchas||Patriarch of the Nation||Various cultural activities during the Lithuanian National Revival|
|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||First post-independence Prime Minister, in 1968.|
|Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla||Mexico||Padre de la patria mexicana||Father of the Mexican Nation||First revolutionary leader in the Mexican War of Independence.|
|Sam Nujoma||Namibia||Founding Father of the Namibian Nation||First President of Namibia, 1990–2005; title conferred by Act of Parliament in 2005.|
|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)|
|Einar Gerhardsen||Norway||Landsfaderen||Father of the Nation||The post–World War II prime minister of Norway|
|Mohammad Ali Jinnah||Pakistan||Quaid-e-Azam||Father of the Nation/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".|
|Dom Afonso Henriques||Portugal||Pai da Nação||Father of the Nation
a.k.a. The Conqueror
|Founder and 1st. King of Portugal (1139), recognized by the Holy See in 1179.|
|Sun Yat-sen||Republic of China||simplified Chinese: 国父; traditional Chinese: 國父 (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. The title continued after KMT moved into Taiwan.|
|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".|
|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".|
|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 son King Salman is the current head of state of Saudi Arabia. Five other older sons – Saud, Faisal, Khalid, Fahd and Abdullah – 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. Dewar was also credited with securing that constitutional reform.|
|Saint Sava||Serbia||Отац Отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church|
|Karađorđe||Serbia||Отац Отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Leader of the First Serbian Uprising|
|Miloš Obrenović||Serbia||Отац Отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Leader of the Second Serbian Uprising|
|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||Father of Singapore||First Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for over 30 years. Leading figure throughout Singapore's time as a part of Malaysia and its later independence.|
|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.|
|Catholic Monarchs||Spain||Reyes Católicos de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón||Catholic Monarchs of the Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon||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||ජාතියේ පියා (Jathiyay Piya)||Father of the Nation||First Prime Minister, from 1947 to 1952.|
|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)|
|Gustav I of Sweden||Sweden||Nationalhjälte||National hero||Broke Sweden from Danish rule under Christian II.|
|Julius Nyerere||Tanzania||Baba wa Taifa||Father of the Nation||First President of Tanzania|
|Bhumibol Adulyadej||Thailand||His Majesty||Father of the Nation|
|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 the 1934 Surname Law establishing surnames in Turkey.|
|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)|
|George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and other Signers and Framers||United States||Founding Fathers||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|
|George Washington||United States||Father of his country||George Washington is particularly highlighted out of the Founding Fathers of the United States as being the "father of his country" for his role as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and for his tenure as the first President of the United States.|
|José Gervasio Artigas||Uruguay||Padre de la independencia uruguaya||Father of Uruguayan independence||Fought against British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial armies in Río de la Plata.|
There is no law in the country which officially recognises a single individual as the "Father of the Nation" or "National Hero". Either title may be associated with any of the following prominent historical persons, owing to their impact on the country during their respective times:
|Emilio Aguinaldo||Philippines||Kauna-unahang Pangulo ng Pilipinas||Inaugural President of the Philippines||Leader of the latter part of the Philippine Revolution and first President of the Philippines through the 1899 Malolos Congress, which oversaw the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution.|
|Corazon Aquino||Philippines||Iná ng Demokrasya||Mother of Democracy
Icon of Democracy
|Three years after her husband's assassination, she became President of the Philippines on February 25, 1986 following the People Power Revolution that ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy.|
|Andrés Bonifacio||Philippines||Pambansang Bayani
Amá ng Himagsikan
Father of the Revolution
|De facto President and leader of the Philippine Revolution, which saw armed resistance against the Spanish Empire. His birthday, November 30, 1863, is a national holiday.|
|José Rizal||Philippines||Pambansáng Bayani||National Hero||Colloquially known as the "National Hero". Rizal's works and writings–which helped start the Philippine Revolution–are part of the national curriculum as mandated by Republic Act No. 1425. The anniversary of his December 30, 1896 execution by the Spanish colonial government is a national holiday.|
- List of national founders
- Victory title
- Pater Patriae
- Founding Fathers of the United States
- Founding fathers of the European Union
- Fathers of Confederation
- Family as a model for the state
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it has been well documented that Sir Lynden Pindling was the leader of the political movement that led to the attainment of majority rule on January 10, 1967, and that he is recognized as the Father of the Nation — the man who was the country's leader when The Bahamas obtained its independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
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Cuba commemorates this Sunday the beginning of its wars of independence, the 10 of October of 1868, when the insigne patriotic Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, considered the Father of the Motherland, gave the freedom to his slaves to begin the fight by the liberation of the Nation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
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Known as the "Father of the Nation", Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam has throughout his political career from 1940 to 1982 been closely associated with the significant emancipation of the people of Mauritius and has led the struggle for Independence.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
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Отац Отаџбине Св. Сава је надахнуо Немањи- ну државу идеалима хришћанског патриотизма и створио слободну цркву у слободној држави. Држа- ва је Отечество - земља мојих ота- ца. Држава не сме да буде импери- ја, јер где ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, a man affectionately known as 'The Father of The Nation' for his work as an architect of the UAE Federation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
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