Father of the Nation
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The Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a person considered the driving force behind the establishment of his/her country, state, or nation. Pater Patriae (plural Patres Patriae), also seen as Parens Patriae, was a Roman honorific meaning the "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", "dajsh, "the Leopard", and "the Sun-President". 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 opposition 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" barely failed 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|
|Ahmad Shah Durrani||Afghanistan||Ahmad Shah Baba||Ahmad Shah the Father||Founder of the Afghan Durrani Empire.|
|Skanderbeg||Albania||Ati i Kombit||Father of the Nation|
|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
|Primary leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain (1778 – 1850).|
|Hayk (Հայկ)||Armenia||Nahapet (Նահապետ)||Head of the Family
|Legendary founder of the Armenian nation.|
|Sir Henry Parkes,||Australia||Father of Federation||Gave the Tenterfield Oration, which is believed to be pivotal in the process of federating the Australian colonies.|
|Sir Lynden Pindling||The Bahamas||Father of the Nation||Leader at independence in 1973.|
|Sheikh Mujibur Rahman||Bangladesh||Jatir Janak (জাতির জনক)
|Father of the Nation
Friend of Bengal
|Founder of Bangladesh.|
|Philip the Good||Belgium||Father of the Fatherland||First duke of Burgundy who strove for territorial unification of his lands in the Low Countries.|
|George Cadle Price||Belize||Father of the Nation||Former Chief Minister, Premier and two-term Prime Minister before retiring in 1997.|
|Libertador||Liberator||Primary leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain.|
|Seretse Khama||Botswana||Father of Independence||Leader of the independence movement and first President of Botswana. Creator of democracy in Botswana|
|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 (1914 – 1986).|
|Asparuh||Bulgaria||Kanasubigi (Кан)||Founder and first ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire.|
|John A. Macdonald and the other fathers of Confederation||Canada||Father of Confederation||Father of Confederation|
|Bernardo O'Higgins||Chile||Padre de la patria||Father of the fatherland||Principal leader of Chile's successful struggle for independence from Spain.|
|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 Nationalist government decreed the title in 1940. Sun is more widely known in mainland China as the "Forerunner of the Democratic Revolution".|
|José María Castro Madriz||Costa Rica||Fundador de la República||Founder of the Republic||First President of the Republic of Costa Rica.|
|Ante Starčević||Croatia||Otac domovine||Father of the Homeland||His diverse activities and works laid the foundations for the modern Croatian state.|
|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.|
|Archbishop Makarios III||Cyprus||Εθνάρχης||Leader of the Nation||First and longest President of Cyprus.|
|Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor||Czech Republic||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 Republic||Otec národa||Father of the Nation||Politician and historian. Whereas vlast "homeland" included all inhabitants, národ "nation" comprised only Czech people.|
|Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk||Czech Republic||Tatíček /
|Father of the Fatherland / President Liberator||First President of Czechoslovakia.|
|Juan Pablo Duarte||Dominican Republic||Padre de la patria||Father of the Fatherland||Defeated Haiti during war of independence.|
|Ilia Chavchavadze||Georgia||უგვირგვინო მეფე / ერის მამა||The Crownless King / Father of the Nation|
|Members of the Parlamentarischer Rat||Germany||Väter und Mütter des Grundgesetzes||Fathers and mothers of the Basic Law||Drafted the Basic Law, the constitution of (then West) Germany|
|Kwame Nkrumah||Ghana||Osagyefo||Father of the nation||First president and prime minister of Ghana, the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve full independence.|
|Alexander the Great||Greece||Πατέρας των Ελλήνων||Father of the Greeks||Founder of the Macedonian Empire responsible for spreading Greek culture during the Hellenistic period.|
|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||Primary leader of Haiti's successful struggle for independence from France.|
|Árpád||Hungary||Honalapító||Founder of the Homeland||Second Grand Prince of the Hungarians, leader of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian basin.|
|Mahatma Gandhi||India||In most Indian languages:
|Father of the Nation||This title was not an official title and has no records in the National Archives of India. Indian constitution (Art. 18) prohibits the State from conferring any titles. Origin of this title is traced back to a radio address (on Singapore radio) on 6 July 1944 by Subhash Chandra Bose where Bose addressed Gandhi as "The Father of the Nation".|
|Sukarno||Indonesia||Bapak Bangsa/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi Indonesia/Proklamator||Father of the Nation/Great Leader of Indonesian Revolution/The Proclamator||First President of Indonesia.|
|Abraham||israel||The father of the Jewish people.|
|Cyrus the Great||Iran (Persia)||Shahanshah (شاهنشاه)||King of kings||First Shah of Persian Empire.|
|Camillo Benso, Conte di Cavour
Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia
|Italy||Padre della Patria||Father of the Fatherland||Authors of Italian unification|
|Emperor||Japan||天皇(Ten-noh)||Founder of Empire of Japan|
|Alikhan Bukeikhanov||Kazakhstan||Prime Minister of the Alash Autonomy||Leader and founder of the Alash Orda national liberation 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 Il-sung / Kim Jong-il||Democratic People's Republic of Korea||Several; see list of Kim Jong-il's titles||Several||The first and second leader of North Korea, respectively|
|Ibrahim Rugova||Kosovo||Babai i Kombit||Father of the Nation|
|Jonas Basanavičius||Lithuania||Tautos patriarchas||Patriarch of the Nation||Various cultural activities during the Lithuanian National Revival.|
|Krste Misirkov||North 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. A prince from the Kedah Sultanate, the Cambridge-educated Tunku led the negotiated independence of Federation of Malaya from the British in 1957. Later formed Malaysia through the union of Peninsular Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak in 1963.|
|Dom Mintoff||Malta||Missier Malta Hielsa||Father of Free Malta||A Maltese statesman and leading politician. He twice served as Prime Minister of Malta (from 1955–58, and from 1974–84) as the Leader of the Labour Party, a position he held from 1949–84. In 1974, with him as Prime Minister, Malta negotiated a series of constitutional reforms leading to the establishment of the Maltese Republic and the removal of the British monarch as head of state. In 1979, the last of the British Navy vessels left Malta hence putting an end to the last remaining relics of colonial rule and leaving Malta free to pursue its own foreign relations independent of the western powers of the time. He is also credited with the establishment of the Maltese welfare state and the Socialist-style nationalisation and collectivisation of various key industries.|
|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.|
|Genghis Khan||Mongolia||Монголчуудын эцэг||Father of the Mongols, Founding Father of Mongolia ||After unifying the many nomadic tribes of northeastern Asian steppe peoples, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire and became the first Great Khan and Emperor. He eventually led a conquest of the majority of Eurasia, and his unified homeland would become Mongolia.|
|Aung San||Myanmar||Father of Nations, Father of Independence, Father of Tatmadaw||5th Prime Minister of Burma in British Era from 1946 to 1947||Assassinated on 19 July 1947, before the independence of Burma.|
|Sam Nujoma||Namibia||Founding Father of the Namibian Nation||First President of Namibia, 1990–2005; title conferred by Act of Parliament in 2005.|
|Prithvi Narayan Shah||Nepal||National Hero||Father of the Nation||King of the People of Nepal|
|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.|
|Nnamdi Azikiwe||Nigeria||Father of Nigerian Nationalism||First president of Nigeria when it became a republic on October 1, 1963, and was the last governor general of Nigeria.|
|Einar Gerhardsen||Norway||Landsfaderen||Father of the Nation||First post–World War II prime minister of Norway.|
|Muhammad Ali Jinnah||Pakistan||Quaid-e-Azam & Baba-e-Quam||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".|
|Emilio Aguinaldo||Philippines||Kauna-unahang Pangulo ng Pilipinas||First 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.|
|Andrés Bonifacio||Philippines||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.|
|D. Afonso Henriques||Portugal||Fundador 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.|
|Peter I of Russia||Russia||Отец Отечества (Otets Otechestva)||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".|
|Saint Marinus||San Marino||Founder of a chapel and monastery in central Italy, in 301 (traditional date: September 3). From this initial community the state of San Marino later grew.|
|Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||والد الأمة (Waalid Al Ummah)/ المؤسس (Al-Moa'sis)||Father of the Nation/ The Founder||Unified the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and established the modern Saudi state. He descended from the noble House of Saud, the dynasty which had ruled most of Arabia in the 18th century. 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||First Minister of Scotland||Father of the Nation||Recognised as a driving force behind the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament.|
|Dobrica Ćosić||Serbia||Отац нације||Father of the Nation||Serbian politician, writer, and political theorist.|
|Saint Sava||Serbia||Отац отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.|
|Karađorđe and Miloš Obrenović||Serbia||Отац отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Leaders of the First and Second Serbian Uprising during the Serbian Revolution.|
|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.|
|Andrej Hlinka (disputed)||Slovakia||Otec národa||Father of the Nation||Catholic priest, fighter for Slovak autonomy and leader of controversial Slovak People's Party.|
|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. And the ideological father of a United Somalia (Greater Somalia).|
|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.|
|Per Albin Hansson||Sweden||Landsfader||Father of the Nation||Prime Minister 1932-1946 and founder of The People's Home.|
|Julius Nyerere||Tanzania||Baba wa Taifa||Father of the Nation||First President of Tanzania.|
|Dr. Eric Williams||Trinidad and Tobago||Father of the Nation||Founder of the People's National Movement (PNM), first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, first Premier of Trinidad and Tobago, second Chief Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and was instrumental in making Trinidad and Tobago independent from the British.|
|Dr. Rudranath Capildeo||Trinidad and Tobago||Founding Father||Led the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), first Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago, a Hindu leader, and a mathematical physicist.|
|Habib Bourguiba||Tunisia||المجاهد الاكبر(Al mujehed al akbar)||The Supreme Warrior||Father of the independence of Tunisia and first President of Tunisia. He led the Tunisian national movement against France. After independence, he founded a modern state, built schools and hospitals and gave the Tunisian women rights that are still unique in the Arab World today.|
|Mustafa Kemal Atatürk||Turkey||Atatürk||Father of the Turks (always used as a last name and not a title proper)||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, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and other Signers and Framers||United States||Founding Fathers||The Signers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Framers were delegates to the Constitutional Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed United States Constitution.|
|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, his resignation of command at the end of the war, the presidency of the Constitutional Convention and for his tenure (and voluntary retirement) as the first President of the United States.|
|José Gervasio Artigas||Uruguay||Padre de la independencia uruguaya, Protector de los Pueblos Libres y Jefe de los orientales ||Father of Uruguayan independence, Defender of the Free and Chief of the eastern people||Fought against British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial armies in Río de la Plata.|
|Jahir-Uddin Muhammad Babur||Uzbekistan||Babur Baba||National Father of Uzbekistan||Uzbek Empire.|
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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 ৭ of the Nation — the man who was the country's leader when The Bahamas obtained its independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973.
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Even Prime Minister Dean Barrow calls George Price the father of the nation[permanent 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.
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Miguel Hidalgo, considerado el "padre de la patria" mexicana
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Today the nation marks the 60th Death anniversary of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, known as Quaid-e-Azam, meaning "Great Leader" and Baba-e-Qaum meaning Father of the Nation.[permanent 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 ...
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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.
Wheeler, Julia (2 November 2004). "Obituary: Sheikh Zayed". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
He was frequently referred to as the father of the nation.
- "America's Founding Fathers". National Archives. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Stanfield, Jack. America's Founding Fathers: Who Are They? Thumbnail Sketches of 164 Patriots (Universal-Publishers, 2001).
- Grizzard (2002, pp. 105–107) harvtxt error: no target: CITEREFGrizzard2002 (help)
- Rupert Cornwell, "George Washington: The father of the nation" (January 17, 2009).
"Efemérides Culturales Argentinas: Junio 19" (in Spanish). Ministry of Education, Argentina. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
1764: Nace en Montevideo (Uruguay) José Gervasio Artigas, iniciador rioplatense del federalismo y padre de la independencia uruguaya. Falleció cerca de Asunción el 23 de septiembre de 1850.
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.