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. The term founding fathers may be used if more than one person is considered key.
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". 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.
|Name||Nation||Title (native)||Title (translation)||Notes|
|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||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||বঙ্গবন্ধু
(Friend of Bengal)
|Father of the Nation||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.|
|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||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.|
|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.|
|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|
|Simón Bolívar||Ecuador||Padre de la patria||Father of the fatherland||Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain|
|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|
|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, 1989–2004; 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||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".|
|Juan Ponce Enrile||Philippines||Ama ng Malayang Pilipinas||Father of the Free Philippines||Led the People Power Revolution which ushered the return of democracy in the Philippines|
|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".|
|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 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. Dewar was also credited with securing that constitutional reform.|
|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.|
|Catholic Monarchs||Spain||Reyes Católicos de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón||Fathers of the nation||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.|
|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|
|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.|
|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 Founding Fathers||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|
|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.|
|Simón Bolívar||Venezuela||Padre de la patria||Father of the fatherland||Prime leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain|
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- Haskin, Jeanne M. (2005). The Tragic State of the Congo: From Decolonization to Dictatorship. Algora Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 0-87586-417-1.
- Schatzberg, Michael G. (2001). Political Legitimacy in Middle Africa: Father, Family, Food. Indiana University Press. pp. passim, see index; and esp. p. 8 & p. 213. ISBN 0-253-33992-8.
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- [dead link]
- "Rt. Hon. George Price". CARICOM.com (CARICOM). March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-30. "Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price, "Father of the Nation" of Belize"
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- "Homenaje a Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Padre de la Patria" (in Spanish). Trabajadores. 2005-06-19. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- "Povijest Oca domovine" (in Croatian). Hrvatska stranka prava dr. Ante Starčević. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- Hautrive, Iliana (2004-10-10). "Cuba commemorates the 136 anniversary of the beginning of its wars of independence". Trabajadores. Retrieved 2009-01-16. "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."[dead link]
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- "Centenary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.". Mauritius Post Museum. Mauritius Post. 2004. Retrieved 2009-01-20. "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."[dead link]
- "El Grito, una tradición popular mexicana sin dueño". El Periodico de Mexico (in Spanish). 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2009-02-07. "Miguel Hidalgo, considerado el "padre de la patria" mexicana"
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- "Abu Dhabi's Zayed Mosque tours to take on special Ramadan significance" (Press release). August 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-17. "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."[dead link]
- 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."
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- "Efemérides Culturales Argentinas: Junio 19" (in Spanish). Ministry of Education, Argentina. 2009. 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."