List of national founders
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The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e., political system form of government, and constitution), of the country. They can also be military leaders of a war of independence that led to the existence of the country.
Amílcar Cabral (var. Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral) (1924–1973) was an agricultural engineer, writer, and a nationalist thinker and political leader. He was also one of Africa's foremost anti-colonial leaders. Amílcar Cabral led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands and the ensuing war of independence in Guinea-Bissau. He was assassinated on 20 January 1973, several months before Guinea-Bissau's unilateral declaration of independence. He is considered a founder of Cape Verde.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ahmed Sékou Touré (var. Ahmed Seku Turay) (1922–1984) was a Guinean political leader and President of Guinea from 1958 to his death in 1984. Touré was one of the primary Guinean nationalists involved in the independence of the country from France.
He is with Kwame Nkrumah one of the founders of the African Union, and the Guinean Diallo Telly was the first general secretary of the African Union.
Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972) led the nation to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809–1876) was born a free man of black American descent. In 1829 his family moved to Liberia. In 1839, Roberts became Liberia's lieutenant governor and afterwards, its governor (1841–1848). He is known as the father of Liberia and officially declared Liberia's independence in 1847.
King Idris Al-sanusi, also known as Idris I of Libya, (1889–1983) was the first and only king of Libya, reigning from 1951 to 1969, and the Chief of the Senussi Muslim order. Idris as-Senussi proclaimed an independent Emirate of Cyrenaica in 1949. He was also invited to become Emir of Tripolitania, another of the three traditional regions that now constitute modern Libya (the third being Fezzan). By accepting he began the process of uniting Libya under a single monarchy. A constitution was enacted in 1949 and adopted in October 1951. A National Congress elected Idris as King of Libya, and as Idris I he proclaimed the independence of the United Kingdom of Libya as a sovereign state on 24 December 1951.
- The King Radama I, the first Malagasy sovereign to be recognized as King of Madagascar (1810–1828).
- Philibert Tsiranana, the first President of Madagascar from 1959 to 1972.
- Herbert Macaulay (1864–1946)
- Professor Eyo Ita (1903–1972)
- Alvan Ikoku (1900–1971)
- Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996)
- Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987)
- Al-Haji Sir Ahmadu Bello (1910–1966)
- Al-Haji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912–1966)
- Chief Anthony Enahoro (1923–2010)
- Sir Egbert Udo Udoma (1917–1998)
- Al-Haji Aminu Kano (1920–1983)
- Chief S. A. Ajayi (1910–1994)
- Joseph Tarka (1932–1980)
- Dennis Osadebay (1911–1994)
All are considered founders of Nigeria. The troika of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Ahmadu Bello negotiated Nigeria's independence from Britain, aided by such figures as Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
Freetown, Sierra Leone was founded in part by an African American slave called Thomas Peters in 1792 who convinced British abolitionists to help settle 1,192 Black Americans who fought for the British in return for freedom. Peters alongside other Black Americans David George and Moses Wilkinson were influential in the establishment of Freetown, but it was Peters who is remembered today as the true influential leader and founder of Sierra Leone. A street was named for Thomas Peters in Freetown by the Krio Mayor Winstanley Bankole Johnson.
The Somali Youth League played a major role for Somalia's independence since the 1940s, with two of its members having served as the first two Somali presidents, Aden Adde and Abdirashid Shermarke. There are several murals and monuments dedicated to the SYL's independence movement in Mogadishu.
Republic of South Africa
Other anti-apartheid activists include:
- Oliver Tambo
- Walter Sisulu
- Govan Mbeki
- Joe Slovo
- Ahmed Kathrada
- Raymond Mhlaba
- Robert Sobukwe
- Joe Modise
- Chris Hani
The founder of the modern Tunisia is Habib Bourguiba.
- Kenneth Kaunda Kenneth Kaunda (1924– ) is the prominent icon in the independence and unification of Zambia. However, there are important personalities like Simon Kapwepwe and Harry Nkumbula (1916–18) that fairly deserve recognition. Together, in their different capacities, they led the nation to freedom.
- Simon Kapwepwe
- Harry Nkumbula
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- Rekayi Tangwena
- Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa
- Joshua Nkomo
- Leopold Takawira
- Simon Muzenda
- Robert Mugabe
- Ndabaningi Sithole
- Herbert Chitepo
- Josiah Tongogara
- Enos Nkala
- Edgar Tekere
- George Nyandoro
- James Chikerema
- Solomon Mujuru
- Alfred Nikita Mangena
- Josiah Tungamirai
- Jason Moyo
Ahmad Shah Durrani (1723–1773) unified the Afghan tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. His mausoleum is next to the Shrine of the Cloak in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he is fondly known as Ahmad Shah Baba (Ahmad Shah the Father).
- Hayk Nahapet is considered the traditional founder of Armenia to which he gave his namesake (Hayk/Hayastan) and occasionally as the ancestor to all Armenians. He was explained in the Movses Khorenatsi book "History of Armenia (book) to have established Armenia as a home for his people around Lake Van where Hayk and his people battled with and were then free from the tyranny of the Neo Assyrian Empire and Nimrod in 2492 BC.
- Aram Manukian is considered the founder of the First Republic of Armenia.
Mammad Amin Rasulzade (Azerbaijani: Məhəmməd Əmin Axund Hacı Molla Ələkbər oğlu Rəsulzadə, Turkish: Mehmed Emin Resulzâde; (1884–1955) was an Azerbaijani statesman, scholar, public figure and one of the founding political leaders of Azerbaijan Republic (1918–1920). His expression "Bir kərə yüksələn bayraq, bir daha enməz!" ("The flag once raised will never fall!") became the motto of the independence movement in Azerbaijan in the 20th century.
- The first Sultan of Bengal, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah, is often credited for unifying the Bengal region (which he named Bangalah) under a single politico-social and linguistic identity (Bangali people) in 1352. He is considered the Alexander of Bengal.
- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, known with the honorary title Bangabandhu, is the founding father of Bangladesh. He led Bengali nation to the decade long struggle for independence against then autocratic rule of Pakistan, finally resulting the Bangladesh Liberation War and the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
- Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani are considered as three primary founders of Bangladesh, who shaped the Bengali nationalism since the days of British rule.
Apart from the founding leaders, the four key members of the Liberation Wartime government vice-president Syed Nazrul Islam, prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad, finance minister Muhammad Mansur Ali and home minister Abul Hasnat Muhammad Qamaruzzaman (altogether known as 'Four National Leaders') and the Liberation Wartime armed forces chief Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani are hailed as vital figures in Bangladesh's independence.
Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594–1651) fled Tibet and unified the fiefdoms of Bhutan. He established the dual system of shared power between secular and Buddhist leadership that continues as a tradition to the present.
In 221 BC, the State of Qin completed the conquest of the various Chinese kingdoms of the Warring States period and formed the first unified Chinese empire, the Qin dynasty. Its monarch then took the title of Huángdì (皇帝; "Emperor") to reflect his prestigious status vis-à-vis prior rulers, thus becoming Qin Shi Huang.
Sun Yat-sen was the founding father of the Republic of China and served as its first provisional president. He was officially conferred the title of Guófù (國父; "Father of the Nation") by the Nationalist government in AD 1940. Today, he is still officially recognized as such in the Taiwan Area where the Republic of China continues to rule, while the People's Republic of China considers him the Gémìng Xiānxíngzhě (革命先行者; "Forerunner of the Revolution").
Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta are the founders of Indonesia. They both signed the Proclamation of Independence which then read by Sukarno, proclaiming the independence of Indonesia from the Netherlands on 17 August 1945. A day later, they were elected respectively as the first President and Vice President of Indonesia. As the Netherlands did not recognize the independence, both of them were prominent figures and were seen as symbol of unity among Indonesian people to fight against Dutch during the National Revolution from 1945 to 1949. In August 1949, Hatta headed a delegation to the Hague for a Round Table Conference which then led to the recognition of Indonesian independence by the Netherlands on 23 December 1949.
In the early days of its formal independence, Indonesia published a series of stamps that paired several local personage with American founding fathers and former presidents. They are: Sukarno paired with George Washington, for their leadership during the initial stage of independence; Mohammad Hatta paired with Abraham Lincoln, for their democratic ideals; Haji Agus Salim paired with Benjamin Franklin, for their foreign diplomacy; Alexander Andries Maramis paired with Alexander Hamilton, for their contribution in the country financial matters; and Sutan Sjahrir paired with Thomas Jefferson, for their political marvels.
Cyrus the Great (600–530 BC) was the founder of the First Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. Many Iranians gather at his tomb in Pasargadae annually on the Cyrus the Great Day and Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Prior to the 1979 Revolution the 2,500th year of Foundation of Imperial State of Iran took place. It consisted of an elaborate set of festivities that took place on 12–16 October 1971 on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Imperial State of Iran and First Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. The intent of the celebration was to demonstrate Iran's old civilization and history to showcase its contemporary advancements under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. Ruhollah Khomeini is considered the founder of the modern Islamic State of Iran.
Theodor Herzl is considered the founder of Israel's founding ideology known as Zionism. David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel, and considered an important figure in the creation of the state of Israel.
Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇, Jinmu-tennō) (traditional reign 660–585 BC) was the first Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. The Japanese national holiday National Foundation Day (建国記念の日, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) is celebrated annually on 11 February in commemoration of the founding of the nation of Japan and the ascension of Emperor Jimmu to the imperial throne.
There is no law in the country which officially recognizes a single individual as the "Father of the Nation". Either title may be associated with any of the following prominent historical persons, owing to their impact on the country during their respective times.
Alikhan Bukeikhanov (1866–1937) was a Kazakh statesman, politician, publicist, teacher, writer and environmental scientist. He was leader and founder of the Alash Orda national liberation movement. He sided with the westernizers in the Kazakh political scene who were promoting the idea of the Western culture into the Kazakh steppe. In 1920, after the establishment of Soviet hegemony, Bukeikhanov joined the Bolshevik party and returned to scientific life. His earlier political activities caused the authorities to view him with suspicion, leading to arrests in 1926 and 1928. In 1926, Bukeikhanov was arrested on the charge of counter-revolutionary activity and put into Butyrka prison in Moscow. But due to the lack of evidence in the criminal case against him, he was released from prison. In 1930, the authorities banished him to Moscow, where he was arrested a final time in 1937 and executed.
Dinmukhamed Kunayev (1912–1993) was a Kazakh Soviet communist politician. He became first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan again in 1964 when Khrushchev was ousted and replaced by Brezhnev. He kept his position for twenty-two more years. He was an alternate member of the Politburo from 1967, and a full member from 1971 to 1987. During Kunayev's long rule, Kazakhs occupied prominent positions in the bureaucracy, economy and educational institutions. A Brezhnev loyalist, he was removed from office under pressure from Mikhail Gorbachev, who accused him of corruption. On 16 December 1986 the Politburo replaced him with Gennady Kolbin, who had never lived in the Kazakh SSR before. This provoked street riots in Almaty, which were the first signs of ethnic strife during Gorbachev's tenure. In modern Kazakhstan, this revolt is called Jeltoqsan, meaning December in Kazakh.
Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected the nation's first president following its independence from the Soviet Union in December 1991. In 2010 Parliament of Kazakhstan named him Елбасы (Elbasy) which means "Leader of the Nation".
Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903–1990) usually known as "the Tunku" (a princely title in Malaysia), and also called Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) or Bapa Malaysia (Father of Malaysia), was Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955, and the country's first Prime Minister from independence in 1957. He remained Prime Minister after Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore joined in 1963 to form Malaysia.
Genghis Khan (c. 1162–1227), who by uniting the nomadic tribes founded the Mongol Empire, is generally regarded as the father of modern-day Mongolia. Although downcast during the communist-era, Genghis Khan's reputation surged after the democratic revolution in 1990. Modern Mongolia is often called "Genghis's Mongolia".
Anawrahta is considered to be founder of ancient Burmese Kingdom of Pagan. General Aung San is the founder of modern Burma (also known as Myanmar). Although he did not live to see the country's independence, he is credited in forming the basic structure of the independence movement and government. Aung San started his political career in 1930 as the editor of Rangoon University's Newspaper – where he accused one of the British administrators of misconduct. In late 1940 he went to Japanese controlled Taiwan and Xiamen to receive military training, and he led the Burmese National Army, spearheading the Japanese invasion of Burma. Later, he switched sides to the Allies, and helped in the Burma Campaign. After the war, he was appointed to the government of a returning British Administration, and was able to negotiate Burma's independence. He helped organized the Panglong Agreement in February 1947, achieving independence for all Burmese territories. However, on Saturday, 19 July 1947, Aung San, along with his cabinet ministers, was assassinated at the secretariat building in Rangoon.
Prithvi Narayan Shah was largely responsible for the unification of Nepal, and is considered to be the founder of Nepal. His vision of ruling over a unified Nepal is said to have started when atop a hill near Nepa Valley (Present day Kathmandu), he decided he would like to rule over it. His strategic plan was very successful and his successors continued to build on his progress. Prithvi Narayan Shah's descendants continued to rule over Nepal for a total of 240 years before the 2006 democracy movement in Nepal toppled the constitutional power exercised by King Gyanendra, before abolishing the monarchy in 2008.
Kim Il-sung was the first leader and founding father of North Korea at the time of the establishment of the country in 1948.
Pakistan's founder is Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who is hailed as Quaid-e-Azam or "Great Leader" and Baba-e-Qaum or Father of Nation. Other prominent founders include the poet Muhammad Iqbal or spiritual Father, believed to be the first person to propagate the idea of a state for India's Muslims, Fatima Jinnah (Mother of nation) and members of Pakistan's first Cabinet such as Liaquat Ali Khan, A. K. Fazlul Huq, Abdul Rab Nishtar, Malik Feroze Khan Noon, Khwaja Nazimuddin and I. I. Chundrigar. Some historians credit the Muslim reformist Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as a founder of Pakistan.
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Musa al-Husayni, mayor of Jerusalem, organized the first Palestinian National Congress in 1919 shortly after the capture of Palestine by the British during World War I. He became the first leader of the Palestinian national movement. In 1933, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam led the first organized armed resistance against the British rule. Upon his death in battle in November 1935, Al Qassam became a Palestinian national hero and founding figure of Palestinian modern nationalism and a revolutionary icon. ِAl-Qassam's death triggered the Great Palestinian Revolt in 1936, of which Abd al-Rahim al-Hajj Muhammad, Yousef Abu Durra and Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, Musa al-Hussayni's son, were the military leaders and thus became Palestinian national heroes. The revolt ended in 1939 and a British retribution campaign began, killing most of the highest former military commanders of the revolt and deporting other political leaders, such as Amin al-Husseini. The British campaign went on to as imprison and execute a large number of Palestinians suspected of having participated in the revolt, thus leaving the Palestinian people with no leadership and no combat capacity. Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was the only survivor of the British retribution and when the 1947–1949 Palestine war began in late 1947, he returned from exile in Iraq and organized Arab forces in the region of Jerusalem. He was killed in battle at the village of Al-Qastal, near Jerusalem on 7 April 1948 and became a Palestinian legendary figure, as well as Muhiba Khorshid, the Palestinian woman who led the defence of Yaffa (Jaffa) becoming a Palestinian female icon.
After the 1948 Palestinian exodus, Ahmad al-Shukeiri founded the Palestine Liberation Organization – PLO in 1964 and became its first chairman, thus becoming the founder of the post-1948 Palestinian national movement. In 1968, the first Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation emerged with the Fedayin movement in Jordan, led by Yasser Arafat and Georges Habash. Arafat became a heroic figure after the battle of Al-Karamah in the Jordan Valley, in which he led a small group of partisans who resisted to the Israeli army, forcing it to withdraw. The same year Arafat was elected as second chairman of the PLO. Arafat became the predominant figure of the Palestinian national movement throughout the second half of the 20th century, galvanizing Palestinian national symbolism in his personal appearance. During the same period, George Habash, Nayef Hawatmeh, Khalil al-Wazir, Salah Khalaf and Abu Ali Mustafa were important Palestinian national leaders and historic figures, as well as Ahmed Yassin and Fathi Shaqaqi, who founded, respectively, the Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine – Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, which played an important role in the Palestinian national movement since the beginning of the Palestinian Intifada in 1987.
There is no law in the country which officially recognizes a single individual as the "Father of the Nation". Either title may be associated with any of the following prominent historical persons, owing to their impact on the country during their respective times: José Rizal (1861–1896) was a Filipino nationalist during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after an anti-colonial revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence. He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, and is implied by Philippine law to be one of the national heroes. He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere, and El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays. Andrés Bonifacio (1863–1897) De facto President and a leader during the Philippine Revolution in 1896, which saw armed resistance against the Spanish Empire. Emilio Aguinaldo (1869–1964) 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.
Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015), often referred to as the "Father of Singapore" or by the initials "LKY", was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades. He is also widely recognised as the founder of modern Singapore.
Syngman Rhee was the first president and founding father of South Korea at the time of the establishment of the country in 1948.
Prince Vijaya is considered to be the first King of Sri Lanka with King Dutugemunu honored as the first king to unify Sri Lanka. D. S. Senanayake (1883–1952) is widely known as the modern (post independence) father of the nation. William Gopallawa (1896–1981) was the first Constitutional President while J. R. Jayewardene (1906–1996) was the first Executive President.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. Following the First World War, the huge conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new states. The Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923), initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues in Anatolia, resulted in the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti) in 1923. He subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming the old multinational Ottoman state into a new secular republic.
Kinh Dương Vương and descendants of the Hồng Bàng dynasty (reigned between 2879–258 BC) are revered as the founders of the first Vietnamese state and civilization. Its commemoration, also known as Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương, is an official public holiday in Vietnam, which is celebrated on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month.
Ho Chi Minh is the first President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the founder of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He proclaimed the independence of Vietnam from Japanese and French on 2 September 1945. He later led Vietnam through wars against France and the United States.
United Arab Emirates
- Skanderbeg was a prominent historical figure in the history of Albania and of the Albanian people. He successfully fought against the Ottoman Empire during its apex (the time of Sultans Murad II and Mehmed II) and maintained independence for 25 years (1443–1468) until his death. He is the national hero of the Albanians.
- Ismail Qemali was a distinguished leader of the Albanian national movement at the beginning of the 20th century, founder of the modern Albanian state in 1912, and its first head of state and government.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Husein-kapetan Gradaščević was a Bosniak who led the revolt against the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II who fought for an autonomous Bosnian State.
- Mythical rulers of Bulgaria are dating back as far as 3rd millennium BC.
- Avitohol (?–453? AD), who researchers claim to be the mythical Attila, is the first name in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans. He was from the Dulo clan and was succeeded by his son Ernak or Irnik (the second name mentioned in the Nominalia);
- Kubrat (606-665) was the founder of the powerful Great Bulgaria in 632 AD;
- Asparuh (around 640-701) is the most venerated national founder of Bulgaria. He was son of Kubrat and started attacking and moving southwest of Old Great Bulgaria, towards the Lower Danube in Southeast Europe. Victorious over the Eastern Roman Empire he established the First Bulgarian Empire in 680-681. Modern day Bulgaria is a direct successor of this bulgar state. Asparukh's brother Batbayan stayed ruling the core territories to the north, while Kotrag migrated further north and founded Volga Bulgaria;
- Krum the Fearsome (VIII century - 814) - prominent ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire. During his reign the Bulgarian territory doubled in size, spreading from the middle Danube to the Dnieper and from Odrin to the Tatra Mountains. His able and energetic rule brought law and order to Bulgaria and developed the rudiments of state organization, thus he is regarded as an important national founder.
- Boris I (IX century-2 May 907), officially christianized Bulgaria in 864, a significant event that shaped the History of Bulgaria and Europe. The historian Steven Runciman called him one of the greatest persons in history. His son and grandson - tsar Simeon I the Great and tsar Petar I are also considered having an important role in the formation and strengthening of Bulgarian state and nationality;
- Samuil (997 - 1014) - energetic emperor (tsar) that restored Bulgarian might in Southeast Europe, and although the Empire was disestablished after his death, he is regarded as a heroic ruler in Bulgaria, as well as in North Macedonia;
- Ivan Asen I, Peter IV and Kaloyan are the three brothers tsars that reestablished Bulgaria after a major uprising (1185-1204);
- Euthymius of Tarnovo - Patriarch of Bulgaria between 1375 and 1393. Regarded as one of the most important figures of medieval Bulgaria, Euthymius was the last head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the Second Bulgarian Empire. Arguably the best esteemed of all Bulgarian patriarchs, Euthymius was an authoritative figure in the Eastern Orthodox world of the time.
- Petar Bogdan (1601 - 1674)
- Paisius of Hilendar (1722 – 1773)
- Petar Beron (1799 - 1871))
- Georgi Rakovski (1821 - 1867)
- Dragan Tsankov (1828 - 1911)
- Lyuben Karavelov (1834 – 1879)
- Vasil Levski (1837 - 1873)
- Ekzarh Yosif (1840 - 1915)
- Vasil Drumev (1841 - 1901)
- Georgi Benkovski (1843 – 1876)
- Petko Karavelov (1943 - 1903)
- Hristo Botev (1848 - 1876)
- Zahari Stoyanov (1850 - 1889)
- Ivan Vazov (1850 – 1921)
- Stefan Stambolov (1851 - 1895)
- Višeslav was one of the first dukes of Croatia, and the early attested by name.
- Tomislav is celebrated as the first king of Croatia and the founder of the first united Croatian state.
- Franjo Tuđman, first President of the Republic of Croatia 1990–99. Self-proclaimed "Father of the Nation".
- Dan (king) (or Halfdan) is the name of the legendary earliest king of the Danes and Denmark, mentioned in medieval Scandinavian texts. He is said to be the progenitor of the nation and the Danish Royal House according to Saxo Grammaticus's Gesta Danorum.
- Gorm the Old, the first recorded ruler of Denmark, reigning from c. 936 to his death c. 958. The current Queen Margrethe II of Denmark can trace her heritage back to Gorm the Old. He is called the founder of the kingdom of Denmark, though at the time he did not control the whole country, only Jutland.
- Harald Bluetooth was the son of Gorm the old and the first to unite Denmark into a single country by uniting the tribes. Harald ruled as king of Denmark from c. 958 – c. 986. He was baptized and the first christian king of Denmark and helped christianize the Danes, which is proclaimed on the Jelling stone.
- Niels Ebbesen was a Danish squire and national hero who liberated Denmark, which had been patented away to german barons and landlords. He is known for his killing of Gerhard III, Count of Holstein-Rendsburg in 1340, and in doing so returning control of Jutland and Funen back to the danish king.
- Vercingetorix: he united the Gauls in a revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars.
- Clovis I: King of the Salian Franks (481–509), King of the Franks (509–511); united all the Frankish tribes in Gaul and gave them a common Catholic religion.
- Charlemagne: King of the Franks (768–814), Holy Roman Emperor (800–814), King of the Lombards (774–814); considered as a major founding figure of Europe.
- Louis XIV: King of France (1643–1715); permitted a large number of reforms and military victories; leader of the centralisation of the political power.
- Napoleon I: First Consul of France (1799–1804), first President of the Italian Republic (1802–1805), King of Italy (1805–1814), Emperor of the French (1804–1814); founded the First French Empire and established many modern French institutions.
- Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, later known as Emperor Napoleon III (1852–1870) is the first French President (1848–1852). He was the last Monarch of France.
- Charles de Gaulle is a hero of the French resistance to Germany during World War II, and the founder and first president (1959–1969) of the Fifth French Republic.
- Pharnavaz I (329—237 BC), 1st monarch of the Kingdom of Iberia
- Bagrat III (960—1014), 1st monarch of the united Kingdom of Georgia
- Noe Ramishvili (1881—1930), 1st Prime Minister of Georgia
- Zviad Gamsakhurdia (1939—1993), 1st President of Georgia
Before the national unification of Germany in 1871, German nationalists sought out multiple legendary founders of the German nation, such as Arminius, Charlemagne and – as championed by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and Richard Wagner – Henry the Fowler. Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), the "Iron Chancellor", engineered the unification of the numerous states of Germany in 1871. Modern, democratic Germany was decisively shaped by the "Fathers of the Basic Law" in the 1948 Constitutional Convention at Herrenchiemsee, and by the first German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. For reunified Germany, the slogan "Wir sind das Volk!" ("We are the people!") became symbolic, thus making all Germans founders of modern Germany.
- Hellen, mythical progenitor of the Greeks, who gives his name to both the people and the country in the Greek language.
- Theseus, semi-legendary founder-hero of Athens
- Solon (594 BC) and Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), inventors of democracy and founders of the Athenian constitution.
- Lycurgus of Sparta, founder of the Spartan constitution
- Cadmus, founder and first King of Thebes.
- Philip II of Macedon, founder of the first united Greek federation and father of Alexander the Great.
- Alexander the Great, founder of the Macedonian Empire.
- Adamantios Korais, Theophilos Kairis and other figures of the Greek Enlightenment who contributed to the country's national awakening leading up to its revolution against the Ottoman Empire
- Rigas Feraios, writer and revolutionary who is remembered as a national hero and the first victim of the uprising against the Ottomans.
- Theodoros Kolokotronis, Georgios Karaiskakis, Andreas Vokos Miaoulis, Laskarina Bouboulina, Yannis Makriyannis and other military leaders of the Greek War of Independence
- Alexandros Mavrokordatos, President of the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, co-author of the Greek Declaration of Independence and first Provisional Constitution and first head of government (President of the Executive) of Modern Greece.
- Ioannis Kapodistrias, first head of state of independent Greece (1827–1831) and founder of the modern Greek state
- Eleftherios Venizelos, leader of the Greek national liberation movement, credited with being "the maker of modern Greece".
- Konstantinos Karamanlis, the first Greek president after the fall of junta, founder of New Democracy, and also known as the "Ethnarch".
According to Anonymus the fejedelem who made the Magyars settle into the Carpathian Basin in 896 AD was Árpád. His dynasty reigned over the Hungarian Kingdom from the ninth century until 1301. In Hungary Stephen I of Hungary is commonly regarded as the founder of the nation. He was Hungary's first king and united the Magyar people into the Kingdom of Hungary. Amongst others, Lajos Kossuth is supposed to be the Pater Patriae. He is known as the leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 against the Habsburgs, and therefore founder of the modern Hungarian Republic.
The Irish Free State was established after the Irish War of Independence (1919–21), in which Éamon de Valera, Cathal Brugha and Michael Collins were key leaders. However, they became antagonists in the Irish Civil War (1922–23), in which Collins and Brugha were killed and de Valera defeated. For decades, the inheritors of the opposing factions bypassed these sensitivities to honour the earlier leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916, in particular the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic: Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Éamonn Ceannt, Tom Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, and Joseph Plunkett.
- Romulus, founder of Rome, the capital of Italy
- Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Roman general, defeated Hannibal in the Second Punic War, saving the Roman state from collapse
- Julius Caesar, great Roman general and dictator, extended Roman citizenship to the inhabitants Cisalpine Gaul
- Caesar Augustus organized Italia and the Italicus Populus during the Roman Empire.
- Constantine the Great, legalized Christianity and laid the foundation for the Christianisation of the Empire
- Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor, who liberated Italy from the Ostrogoths
- Alberto da Giussano, legendary warrior who defeated the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano, thus securing the independence of the Northern Italian Lombard League
- Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, born and raised in Italy, made Palermo his capital and established the first Italian vulgar literary tradition.
- Dante Alighieri, father of the Italian language and author of the Divina Commedia
- Napoleon Bonaparte was the first to use the title of President of the Italian Republic.
- King Vittorio Emanuele II, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Prime Minister Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, and Giuseppe Mazzini have been referred to as the "Four Fathers of the Fatherland". Italy was unified in 1861 and Rome became its capital in 1870.
- The members of the Assemblea Costituente (the Constituent Assembly of 1946–1947) are considered the "fathers" of the Italian Republic, which replaced the Monarchy after a referendum in 1946. Prominent members among them included Alcide De Gasperi (also counted among the founding fathers of the European Union), the communist Palmiro Togliatti and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, the "premier of victory" in WWI.
The first and the only king (1251–1263) of Lithuania, Mindaugas, is seen as the founder of the Lithuanian state, as is commemorated on Statehood Day on 6 July. Dr. Jonas Basanavičius, activist and proponent of the Lithuanian National Revival in the turn of the 19th century into the 20th, who participated in every major event leading to the independence of Lithuania, member of the Council of Lithuania which on 16 February 1918 declared Lithuania an independent state, is universally considered the "Patriarch of the Nation".
- Petar I Petrović-Njegoš (1747–1830) acquired de facto independence for Montenegro from the Ottoman Empire and created the first Montenegrin law in modern era
Prince William I of Orange (1533–1584) or William the Silent, is known as the father of the Netherlands. He led the Dutch in their Revolt against Spain for their independence. Today he is often called Vader des Vaderlands which in English means, Father of the Fatherland.
As well respected statesmen in North Macedonia are considered Metodija Andonov-Čento (first president of SR Macedonia), Nikola Karev (president of Kruševo Republic) and Kiro Gligorov (first president of independent Macedonia). However, often, as "fathers" of the nation are considered Gotse Delchev, Krste Misirkov, Georgi Pulevski and Dimitrija Čupovski and other prominent authors and revolutionaries.
- Einar Henry Gerhardsen (1897–1987) was a Norwegian politician who represented the Labor Party. He was Norway's prime minister from 1945 to 1951, from 1955 to 1963 and from 1963 to 1965. In Norway, Gerhardsen is known as "landsfaderen" – "the father of the country", and he is referred to as one of the main architects behind the Norwegian welfare state that emerged after World War II.
- Mieszko I (c. 920/45–992), the first historical ruler of Poland, Mieszko I is considered the de facto creator of the Polish state. He was a Duke of the Polans from about 960 until his death. Mieszko I's marriage in 965 to the Přemyslid princess Dobrawa and his baptism in 966 put him and his country in the cultural sphere of Western Christianity. According to existing sources, Mieszko I was a wise politician, a talented military leader and charismatic ruler. He successfully used diplomacy, concluding an alliance with Bohemia first, and then with Sweden and the Holy Roman Empire. In foreign policy, he placed the interests of his country foremost, even entering into agreements with former enemies. On his death, he left to his sons a country of greatly expanded territory, with a well-established position in Europe. Mieszko I also appeared as "Dagome" in a papal document from about 1085, called "Dagome iudex", which mentions a gift or dedication of Mieszko's land to the Pope (the act took place almost a hundred years earlier).
- Bolesław I Chrobry (967–1025), was Duke of Poland from 992 to 1025, and the first King of Poland in 1025. He was the son of Mieszko I of Poland by his wife, Dobrawa of Bohemia. He supported the missionary views of Adalbert, Bishop of Prague, and Bruno of Querfurt. The martyrdom of Adalbert in 997 and his imminent canonization were used to consolidate Poland's autonomy from the Holy Roman Empire. This perhaps happened most clearly during the Congress of Gniezno (11 March 1000), which resulted in the establishment of a Polish church structure with a Metropolitan See at Gniezno. This See was independent of the German Archbishopric of Magdeburg, which had tried to claim jurisdiction over the Polish church. Following the Congress of Gniezno, bishoprics were also established in Kraków, Wrocław and Kołobrzeg, and Bolesław formally repudiated paying tribute to the Holy Roman Empire. In the summer of 1018, in one of his expeditions, Bolesław I captured Kiev, where he installed his son-in-law Sviatopolk I as ruler. According to legend, Bolesław chipped his sword when striking Kiev's Golden Gate. Later, in honor of this legend, a sword called Szczerbiec ("Jagged Sword") would become the coronation sword of Poland's kings. Bolesław I was a remarkable politician, strategist, and statesman. He not only turned Poland into a country comparable to older western monarchies, but he raised it to the front rank of European states. Bolesław conducted successful military campaigns in the west, south and east. He consolidated Polish lands and conquered territories outside the borders of modern-day Poland, including Slovakia, Moravia, Red Ruthenia, Meissen, Lusatia, and Bohemia. He was a powerful mediator in Central European affairs. Finally, as the culmination of his reign, in 1025 he had himself crowned King of Poland. He was the first Polish ruler to receive the title of rex (Latin: "king").
- Władysław II Jagiełło (c. 1352/1362 – 1434) was the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377–1434) and then the King of Poland (1386–1434), first alongside his wife Jadwiga until 1399, and then sole King of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377. Born a pagan, in 1386 he converted to Catholicism and was baptized as Władysław in Kraków, married the young Queen Jadwiga, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. In 1387 he converted Lithuania to Christianity. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon the death of Queen Jadwiga, and lasted a further thirty-five years and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. The dynasty ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in late medieval and early modern Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world. The reign of Władysław II Jagiełło extended Polish frontiers and is often considered the beginning of Poland's Golden Age.
- Zygmunt II August (1520–1572), was the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548. In 1569 he oversaw the signing of the Union of Lublin between Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and introduced an elective monarchy.
- Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746–1817) was a Polish-Lithuanian military engineer, statesman, and military leader who became a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States. He fought in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth's struggles against Russia and Prussia, and on the U.S. side in the American Revolutionary War. As Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces, he led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising.
Fathers of Polish Independence:
- Józef Piłsudski (1867–1935), was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920). From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Druga Rzeczpospolita Polska re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.
- Roman Dmowski (1864–1939), was a Polish politician, statesman, polyglot, and the lider of National Democracy movement. He was represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
- Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860–1941), was a Polish pianist and composer, freemason, politician, statesman and spokesman for Polish independence. He was a favorite of concert audiences around the world. His musical fame opened access to diplomacy and the media. Paderewski played an important role in meeting with President Woodrow Wilson and obtaining the explicit inclusion of independent Poland as point 13 in Wilson's peace terms in 1918, called the Fourteen Points. He was the Prime Minister of Poland and also Poland's foreign minister in 1919, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
- Wojciech Konfanty (1873–1939), was a Polish activist, journalist and politician, who served as a member of the German parliaments, the Reichstag and the Prussian Landtag, and later, in the Polish Sejm. Briefly, he also was a paramilitary leader, known for organizing the Polish Silesian Uprisings in Upper Silesia, which after World War I was contested by Germany and Poland. Korfanty fought to protect Poles from discrimination and the policies of Germanisation in Upper Silesia before the war and sought to join Silesia to Poland after Poland regained its independence.
- Wincenty Witos (1874–1945), was a Polish politic and the leader of the Polish Peasants' Movement. Witos was also a leader of Polish Liquidation Committee, formed in Kraków in 1918.
- Ignacy Daszyński (1866–1936), was a Polish socialist politician, journalist, and Prime Minister of the Provisional People's Government of the Republic of Poland, formed in Lublin in 1918.
- Józef Haller von Hallenburg (1873–1960) was a lieutenant general of the Polish Army, a legionary in the Polish Legions, harcmistrz (the highest Scouting instructor rank in Poland), the president of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP), and a political and social activist. After the Peace of Brest-Litovsk he arrived in France in July 1918, where on behalf of the Polish National Committee he created what was known as the Blue Army (from the color of its French uniforms, also known as Haller's Army). For the next few months his army, allied to the Entente, would fight against Germany.
- Viriathus was the most important leader of the Lusitanian people that resisted Roman expansion into western Hispania or Iberia (as the Greeks called it). Today Viriathus is regarded as a national hero and an enduring symbol of Portuguese nationality and independence, portrayed by artists and celebrated by its people throughout the centuries.
- Henry of Burgundy (1066–1112), was appointed Count of Portugal as a reward for military services to Kingdom of León, and with the purpose of expanding the territory southwards. And, more importantly, his son, Count Afonso I of Portugal (1109–1185), a Templar Brother who took control of the county after Henry died and was recognized by the Holy See, in 1179, as the first King of Portugal, through the Manifestis Probatum bull.
- Burebista is considered the great king who unified all the Dacian tribes. He is also known for creating a powerful empire that stretched from west to the Adriatic Sea and Southern Germany, from east to the Black Sea, from north to Southern Poland and from south to Greek Macedonia and Eastern Thrace. He is considered by many Romanians as a national hero. The Dacian Kingdom under Burebista was the greatest territorial extent in Romania's history.
- Decebalus and Trajan are considered to be the fathers of the Romanian people, as Roman veterans were settled on the present-day territory of Romania following Trajan's Dacian Wars.
- Michael the Brave was the first Romanian prince to rule over the traditional Romanian provinces (Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania) in a personal union, albeit briefly.
- Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as the first leader of the modern Romanian state. He presided over Wallachia and Moldavia in a personal union, which later became permanent even though he was forced to abdicate.
- Rurik, a Varangian prince and the legendary founder of the royal Rurikid dynasty, established the first Russian state in Novgorod the Great in 862.
- Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible, Grand Prince of Moscow from the Rurikid dynasty, established the Tsardom of Muscovy and was proclaimed the first Tsar of Russia in 1547.
- Mikhail I of Russia was the first Tsar of Russia from the House of Romanov, elected to the throne by the Zemsky Sobor in 1613. His elevation marked the end of the period of political and civil strife known as the Time of Troubles.
- Peter the Great, Tsar and then Emperor of Russia from the House of Romanov, founded Saint Petersburg in 1703 and established the Russian Empire in 1721, inaugurating the imperial period of Russian history that lasted until the February Revolution of 1917.
- Vladimir Lenin was the founder of Soviet Russia and later, the Soviet Union
- Boris Yeltsin was the first president of the Russian Federation as an independent state. He was first elected to the presidency in June 1991, while the Russian Federation was still a part of the USSR, and re-elected in 1996.
Saint Marinus was the founder of the world's oldest surviving republic, San Marino, in 301. Tradition holds that he was a stonemason by trade who came from the island of Rab on the other side of the Adriatic Sea (modern Croatia), fleeing persecution for his Christian beliefs in the Diocletianic Persecution.
- Stefan Nemanja, Grand Prince of Serbia (r. 1166–1196). The Serbian Church, under St. Sava, depicted Nemanja as the founder of Serbia.
- Karađorđe, Grand Leader (1804–1813), liberator of Serbia, organizer and leader of the Serbian Revolution.
The honorific Father of the Fatherland (Отац Отаџбине) has been given to Saint Sava, Karađorđe, and Miloš Obrenović, the latter having been given it by the National Assembly during his lifetime.
France Bučar is a Slovenian politician, legal expert and author. Between 1990 and 1992, he served as the first chairman of the freely elected Slovenian Parliament. He was the one to formally declare the independence of Slovenia on 25 June 1991. He is considered one of the founders of Slovenian democracy and independence. He is also considered, together with Peter Jambrek, as the main author of the current Slovenian constitution. Jože Pučnik was president of DEMOS and one of the main persons in the Slovenian fight for independence. The largest Slovenian airport is named Letališče Jožeta Pučnika (Jože Pučnik airport). Lojze Peterle was first prime minister of Slovenia and Milan Kučan was the first president.
The Catholic Monarchs, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, unified Spain in the 15th century. Both came from the noble House of Trastámara. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the first to inherit the dynastic union and the first Habsburg monarch. His successor, Philip II of Spain, established a capital in Madrid. The first Bourbon King of Spain was Philip V of Spain, who is also responsible for the de jure unification of the country.
While Sweden had existed as a monarchy of sorts long before his time, Birger Jarl, father of and regent for Valdemar, King of Sweden, can be said to have established Sweden as a nation. Birger was Jarl in the years 1248–66.
Both the anonymous Eidgenossen who drew up the Federal Charter of 1291, or the liberal statesmen who helped found the modern Swiss Confederation in 1848 can be considered the founders of Switzerland. Among the latter, those who became the first members of the Swiss Federal Council were perhaps the most notable: Ulrich Ochsenbein, Jakob Stämpfli, Jonas Furrer, Josef Munzinger, Henri Druey, Friedrich Frey-Herosé, Wilhelm Matthias Naeff and Stefano Franscini.
Leonid Kravchuk is the First President of Ukraine elected in 1991.
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As the UK formed over many years, its founders did not live at the same time as each other. They include: King James VI & I primarily ascent to the English throne whilst sitting as the Scottish monarch. Humphrey Wingfield, Speaker of the English House of Commons in 1535, at the time of England's union with Wales; John Smith and James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater, Speakers of the English and Scottish Parliaments in 1707, when the Acts of Union united Scotland and England; Henry Addington and John FitzGibbon, leaders of the British and Irish parliaments at the time of the Acts of Union 1801, uniting Great Britain and Ireland; and Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, who both signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which allowed most of Ireland to leave the UK and become the Irish Free State.
Northern Ireland had already been established in May 1921, having been created in the Government of Ireland Act in December 1920. This Act was guided through the British House of Commons by Sir Hamar Greenwood, MP, the Chief Secretary for Ireland at the time. Northern Ireland had been created at the insistence of both Captain Sir James Craig and Sir Edward Carson, the Ulster Unionist leaders.
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Lynden Pindling is considered the "Father of the Nation".
Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467/68–1520) commander of the first Portuguese fleet to arrive in South America. José Bonifácio de Andrada (1763–1838), known as "Patriarch of Independence", is considered the maximum leader of the Independence movement because of his intellectual mentorship and political prominence, and Pedro I of Brazil (1798–1834), son of the King João VI of Portugal, the symbol of the "center of force and union", according to the Bonifácio strategy.
The name "Fathers of Confederation" is given to those who attended the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences in 1864, and the London Conference of 1866, to establish the Canadian Confederation. There were 36 original Fathers of Confederation. Queen Victoria, who supported and encouraged this process, is known as the Mother of Confederation. She was the first Monarch under the 1867 Constitution and personally chose Ottawa as Canada's capital city. The political leaders who brought the other provinces into Confederation after 1867 are also referred to as "Fathers of Confederation."
Errol Barrow (Barbados: 1920–1987); Forbes Burnham (Guyana: 1923–1985); Michael Manley (Jamaica: 1924–1997); and Eric Williams (Trinidad and Tobago: 1911–1981) were the leaders who brought forth regional integration among the Caribbean Community.
Simón Bolívar, was founder of Gran Colombia, which also included Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Francisco de Paula Santander wrote the first constitution of Colombia. Antonio Nariño ("Precursor of the Independence") and Camilo Torres were the most relevant statesmen of the First Republic.
Juan Mora Fernández, first Head of State of Costa Rica. José María Castro Madriz, First President of the Republic and proclaimed "Founder of the Republic" by Congress Juan Rafael Mora Porras, President during Costa Rica's campaign against William Walker, proclaimed "Hero and Liberator" by Congress.
José Martí is a Cuban national hero.
Juan Pablo Duarte (1813–1876), Francisco del Rosario Sánchez (1817–1861) and Matías Ramón Mella (1816–1864) are considered the Fathers of the Country. Duarte is featured on the $1 coin and on the now discontinued $1 bill; Sanchez on the $5 coin and on the also discontinued $5 bill; Mella on the $10 coin and on the also discontinued $10 bill.
Toussaint Louverture (1743–1803) and Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806) were revolutionary and early political leaders of Haiti. Henri Christophe and Alexandre Pétion were also important figures of early Haiti.
Alexander Bustamante was an influential union leader and as founder of the Jamaican Labour Party. Bustamante served as the then colony's first Chief Minister from 1953 to 1955 and later went on to lead Jamaica to independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, becoming the country's first Prime Minister. Norman Manley is particularly noted for his role in securing universal suffrage for the country's population in 1944 along with founding the People's National Party. Manley also served as Chief Minister of Jamaica from 1955 to 1962.
According to the decrees of the Congress of the Union of Mexico issued in 1822 and 1823, the Mexican founders are Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753–1811), Ignacio Allende (1769–1811), Juan Aldama (1774–1811), Mariano Abasolo (1783–1816), José María Morelos (1765–1815), Mariano Matamoros (1770–1814), Leonardo Bravo (1764–1812), Miguel Bravo (unknown–1814), Hermenegildo Galeana (1762–1814), Mariano Jiménez (1781–1811), Xavier Mina (1789–1817), Pedro Moreno (1775–1817), and Víctor Rosales (1776–1817).
José de San Martín, Simón Bolívar, Antonio José de Sucre, Francisco de Paula Santander, Francisco de Miranda have been referred to as the founding fathers of the region comprising modern day Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Panama.
Within the large group known as "the Founding Fathers", there are two key subsets, 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). Some historians have suggested a revised definition of the "Founding Fathers", including a significantly broader group of not only the Signers and the Framers but also all those who, whether as politicians or jurists or statesmen or soldiers or diplomats or ordinary citizens, took part in winning US independence and creating the United States of America. Eminent American historian Richard B. Morris, in his 1973 book Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries, identified the following seven figures as the key founders: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.
Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) is considered to be the founder not only of Venezuela, but of many of the region's countries as the Gran Colombia, which also included Panama, Ecuador, and Colombia and Bolivia. José Antonio Páez led the separation of Venezuela from the Gran Colombia and formed the modern statehood of the country. Scholars credit president Rómulo Betancourt as the founding father of modern democratic Venezuela.
Sir Henry Parkes (1815–1896) is often regarded as the "Father of Federation" in Australia. During the late 19th century, he was the strongest proponent for a federation of Australian territories. However, he died before Australia federated, and was never able to see his plan come to fruition. Various other "founders" of Australia have also been unofficially recognised: Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales and founder of the first British colony; and Sir Edmund Barton, the first Australian Prime Minister.
Andrew Inglis Clark is another founding father of Australia. He largely wrote the Australian Constitution in addition to developing the Hare-Clark system of voting and pushing for universal adult suffrage and other progressive ideals that would become law early in Australia's history.
Alfred Deakin also stands out as a significant Founding Father as he attended all the Federation Conferences, he gave up 10 years of senior political appointments to travel the country promoting federation and was Australia's first Attorney General. He was instrumental in securing Edmond Barton as the first Prime Minister while Deakin went on to be Australia's 2nd, 5th and 7th Prime Minister. Deakin was responsible for establishing the High Court, Australian Navy, and many other important acts of parliament. Sir Robert Menzies is on record for saying he was Australia's greatest Prime Ministers.
Federated States of Micronesia
James Busby drafted the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand and co-authored with William Hobson the Treaty of Waitangi, which is considered by some to be the founding document of the nation of New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi was not however the basis for either the British annexation of New Zealand, or the development of representative government in the colony. The indigenous Māori people of New Zealand consider Kupe, a mythologised figure who led the first migration to New Zealand from Hawaiki in the 10th Century, to be a founding figure and the common ancestor of all Māori.
Papua New Guinea
Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is viewed as the "Founding Father" of Papua New Guinea. The leading figure during the country's transition to independence from Australia, he was Papua New Guinea's first Prime Minister.
Former states and other territories
Before the Islamic prophet Muhammad completed his migration to Yathrib (present day Medina), the Arabian peninsula was divided by tribalism. Spread out and distant, region to region. After the migration in 622 AD, Muhammad began to spread the word of Islam to the other Arab tribes outside of Mecca. Through this preaching and military expeditions, he accumulated a large army of loyal followers and returned to Mecca to conquer it in the name of Islam in 629 AD. At the time of his death in 632 AD, the region was bounded into one polity under the flag of Islam. After his death, the 4 Caliphs of the Rashidun Caliphate expanded the territory which led to victories against the Byzantine and Persian empires.
Although the first known ruler of Bohemia was Bořivoj I, Duke of Bohemia, the real unifier of various Slavic tribes in Bohemia and creator of nation was Duke Boleslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor is regarded as the "Father of the Homeland" in the Czech Republic, because during his time the Kingdom of Bohemia experienced the greatest prosperity. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850–1937) is widely revered as the Liberator President who played the chief role in the 1918 melding of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia and Ruthenia into the Czechoslovak Republic, and who served as President of the Republic from 1918 to 1935.
- Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, first President of Czechoslovakia, known as President Liberator.
Kingdom of England
It was King Athelstan (893/895–939) who united the several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England around the year 927, when he became King of the English as opposed to his previous title, King of the West Saxons. However, his fame is often overshadowed by his predecessor and grandfather Alfred the Great (871–899), who set in motion the unification of the English kingdoms and could also claim to be the nation's founder.
For ancient Korea, Hwanung (환웅/桓雄) and his son Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검/檀君王儉) were the legendary founders of Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea. The founding date is usually calculated as 3 October 2333 BC; 3 October is a South Korean national holiday known as Gaecheonjeol (개천절/開天節, "Festival of the Opening of Heaven"). However, in North Korea, Gaecheonjeol is not celebrated and recognized at all, unlike South Korea.
By the end of the 14th century, most of Anatolia was controlled by various Anatolian beyliks due to the collapse of the Seljuk dynasty in the area. The Seljuk dynasty had established both the Seljuk Empire, which was founded by Tughril and the Sultanate of Rum, with the first one being responsible for the Turkification of Anatolia. Osman I unified the beyliks under one banner, proclaiming the Ottoman Empire.
- Rurik – Varangian prince and Prince of Novgorod beginning around 862 AD
- Oleg, Rurik's kinsman and successor; extended his realm from Novgorod south to the Dnieper River valley and later moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev, where he established Kievan Rus' (the modern peoples of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia all have Kievan Rus' as their cultural heritage).
- Ivan the Terrible, Grand Prince of Moscow (also Prince of Novgorod) from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death in 1584. Ivan also claimed the historical title "Grand Prince of Kiev" for himself, but this was more of a flourish, since Kiev had never formed part of his realm and Moscow would not control the Kievan region until the Truce of Andrusovo (1667), but Kiev remained an important city in early Slavic history and culture.
- Peter the Great, Tsar from 1682, officially proclaimed the establishment of the Russian Empire in 1721, following the Treaty of Nystad, and himself its first emperor. He instituted sweeping reforms and oversaw the transformation of Russia into a major European power, re-organising the state in the Western style. Founder of Saint-Petersburg
- Vladimir the Great was the first Christian Prince of Kievan Rus.
Kingdom of Scotland
The fictionalising medieval poem The Wallace (c. 1477) celebrated William Wallace (died 1305) as one of the founder-heroes of Scotland's struggle to preserve/re-establish independence from Plantagenet England.
Serbia and Montenegro
- Dobrica Ćosić, often referred to as the "Father of the Nation"
- Vladimir Lenin – Officially one among many equal founders of the country, Lenin was, de facto, the paramount leader, founder of the Soviet Union and the CPSU, the party that ruled it via one-party rule as well as the founding father of the modern Russian state. He died soon after the country's founding and retained a special status of secular apotheosis for the rest of the country's history.
Republic of Texas
- Magnus Maximus (c. 335–388). According to Welsh tradition, Magnus Maximus (Welsh: Macsen-Wledig) was a Roman General who was proclaimed Emperor of Rome by his soldiers in Britain in 383. As such, he was the first "Romano-Britain" ruler of Britain and Rome itself. His mytho-heroic founding of Wales is celebrated in the modern Welsh anthem Yma o Hyd by Dafydd Iwan.
- Hywel Dda (c. 880–950) was responsible for the codification of traditional Welsh Law, which, according to historian John Davies, "was a powerful symbol of [Welsh] unity and identity, as powerful, indeed, as their language".
- Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (r. 1039–63) was the first Welsh king to rule over the entire territory of Wales, from about 1057 until his death in 1063.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, known as Alexander the Unifier
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- Josip Broz Tito, Marshal of Yugoslavia (1943–1980)
Union of South Africa
- Louis Botha was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
- Jan van Riebeeck was treated as a South African founding father by the South African government during the apartheid era, being featured on statues and the country's currency (although the likeness was erroneous and was actually that of another man).
- Mobutu Sese Seko was the founder of Zaire and its only president.
- "Congo Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Independence". Congo Planet. Congo News Agency. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Joseph Roberts, Liberia's first President! Archived 23 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine The African American Registry
- Diller, Daniel; Moore, John (1995). The Middle East. Congressional Quarterly. p. 308.
- Université Laval, University of Toronto/. "Biography – Peters, Thomas – Volume IV (1771–1800) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography". biographi.ca.
- "The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency". Cia.gov.
- Hovannisian, Richard (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919. University of California Press. p. 147. ISBN 9780520018051.
Aram pasha, as he was known to friend and foe alike, had been a veritable founder of the Armenian republic.
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Aram Manukian (1879–1919), a leading member of the Dashnaktustiune, organized the defense of Van in 1915 and Yerevan in 1918. He is considered the founder of the Republic of Armenia in 1918.
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"...an Armenian national figure like Aram Manukyan, founder of the  First Republic," Levon Shirinyan, who holds the chair of politics and history at Yerevan's teacher-training university.
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The founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) was Saint Sava (1169–1236), the son of the great Serbian national leader Stefan Nemanja.
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In fact, the work is dedicated to the ashes of the Father of Serbia, that is, to Karadjordje, whom he compares with the greatest men of the 19th century. Throughout the work, Njegos asks the Serbs to live up to the model set by the heroes of ...
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Караћорће бити оснивач Србије
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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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ОТАЦ ОТАЏБИНЕ – КАРАЂОРЂЕ ПЕТРОВИЋ
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С државнога балкона у згради Народне Скупштине (Велика пивара) читаше се прокламација народу српском, да је повраћен па престо отац отаџбине Велики Милош. Ко је видео како је та одлука за час угасила оне упаљене ...
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Van Riebeeck was the Dutch colonial administrator who established Cape Town in 1652, and is a significant figure in South African, and especially Afrikaner, history. Many Afrikaners view van Riebeeck as the father of the Afrikaner nation. Van Riebeeck also featured on the reverse of the R20 note, albeit indirectly, with an image of van Riebeeck's landing party (three ships) and the (old) South African Coat of Arms, with the Latin motto "Ex Unitate Vires" – "From Unity, Strength" (also translated as "Unity Creates Strength").
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