List of national founders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of national founders of sovereign states who were credited with establishing a state. 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 establishment of a sovereign state.



Ahmed Ben Bella served as first Prime Minister of Algeria from 1962 to 1963, then as first President of Algeria from 1963 to 1965.


Agostinho Neto served as first President of Angola from 1975 to 1979.


Hubert Maga served as first President of Dahomey from 1960 to 1963.


Seretse Khama served as first President of Botswana from 1966 to 1980.

Burkina Faso[edit]

Thomas Sankara served as first President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987.


Michel Micombero was the first President of Burundi from 1966 to 1976


Ahmadou Ahidjo served as first President of Cameroon from 1960 to 1982.

Cape Verde[edit]

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. Aristides Pereira served as first President of Cape Verde from 1975 to 1991.

Central African Republic[edit]

David Dacko served as first President of Central African Republic from 1960 to 1966. The constitution outlines him as being the "Founding Father."


François Tombalbaye served as first President of Chad from 1960 to 1975.


Ahmed Abdallah (State of the Comoros; First president of the Federal and Islamic Republic of the Comoros) Ali Soilih (State of the Comoros; First president) Azali Assoumani (Union of the Comoros)

Republic of the Congo[edit]

Fulbert Youlou served as first President of the Republic of the Congo from 1960 to 1963.

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

Patrice Lumumba, Joseph Kasa-Vubu, Albert Kalonji, Jean Bolikango, Cléophas Kamitatu, and Paul Bolya are all considered "Fathers of Independence" in the Congo.[1]


Hassan Gouled Aptidon served as first President of Djibouti from 1977 to 1999.


Saad Zaghloul is seen as the founder of independent Egypt. "Zaeem al Ummah (Leader of the Nation)"[citation needed]

There is no agreed founder of Egypt as the area was politically unified around 3000 BC and has since endured multiple changes in terms of government and polities. The ruler who unified upper and lower Egypt is widely identified with Narmer or Menes, who are regarded by many scholars as the same person.[citation needed]

The prevailing historical view is that Muhammad Ali (1769–1849) is the Father of Modern Egypt, being the first ruler since the Ottoman conquest in 1517 to permanently divest the Porte of its power in Egypt. While failing to achieve formal independence for Egypt during his lifetime, he was successful in laying the foundation for a modern Egyptian state.[2]

The Founder of Independent Egypt, Saad Zaghloul (1859–1927), was a politician who served in many ministries of the Egyptian government, and was imprisoned by the British government in Malta, but returned to Egypt to participate in the revolution of 1919. Zaghloul then was able to make the Sultan of Egypt (later King) Fuad I convince the British to grant Egypt independence with a friendly British-Egyptian relationship and in 1922, Egypt was proclaimed an independent kingdom, the Kingdom of Egypt with Saad Zaghloul as its prime minister. British military presence in Egypt ended with nationalisation of Suez Canal in 1956.

Equatorial Guinea[edit]

Francisco Macías Nguema served as first President of Equatorial Guinea from 1968 to 1979.


Isaias Afwerki serves as first President of Eritrea from 1993 to present.


Ngwane III was King of kaNgwane from 1745 to 1780. He is considered to be the first King of modern Eswatini.


Menelik I is claimed to be first the first Emperor of Ethiopia during the 10th century B.C (975–950 B.C). Yekuno Amlak founded the Solomonic dynasty and was the first emperor of the Ethiopian Empire from 1270 to 1285 A.D. Menelik II is the founder of modern Ethiopian state.


Léon M'ba served as first President of Gabon from 1961 to 1967.

The Gambia[edit]

Dawda Jawara served as first Prime Minister of the Gambia from 1962 to 1970. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1965.


Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972) led the nation to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.


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 Telli was the first general secretary of the African Union.


Luís Cabral served as first President of Guinea-Bissau from 1973 to 1980.

Ivory Coast[edit]

Félix Houphouët-Boigny served as first President of Ivory Coast from 1960 to 1993.


Jomo Kenyatta served as the first Prime Minister (1963–1964) and President (1964–1978) of the Republic, after independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. He was the preeminent political figure for independence during the Mau Mau rebellion guerilla war for independence.


Leabua Jonathan served as Prime Minister of Lesotho from 1965 to 1986. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1966.


Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809–1876) was born a free man of African American descent. He migrated to Liberia in 1829 with his family to join thousands of other African Americans resettled from 1820 based on efforts of the American Colonization Society. 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.[3] The descendants of Roberts and the African American settlers are the Americo-Liberian people.


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).[4] 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 Kingdom of Libya as a sovereign state on 24 December 1951.



Hastings Banda served as first Prime Minister of Malawi from 1964 to 1966, then as first President from 1966 to 1994.


Modibo Keïta served as first President of Mali from 1960 to 1968.


Moktar Ould Daddah served as first President of Mauritania from 1960 to 1978.


Seewoosagur Ramgoolam served as first Prime Minister of Mauritius from 1968 to 1982.


The first Moroccan state was established by Idris I in 788. The 'Alawi dynasty, which rules the country to this day, was established by Sharif bin Ali in 1631.

Sultan Mohammed V, who secured Moroccan independence in 1956, declared himself the first King of Morocco in 1957.


Samora Machel served as first President of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986.



Hamani Diori served as first President of Niger from 1960 to 1974.


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.


Grégoire Kayibanda served as first President of Rwanda from 1962 to 1973.

São Tomé and Príncipe[edit]

Manuel Pinto da Costa served as first President of São Tomé and Príncipe from 1975 to 1991.

Sierra Leone[edit]

Freetown, Sierra Leone was founded in part by a Black American soldier, Thomas Peters in 1792, after managing to convince 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. The descendants of Peters and the Black American founders form part of the Sierra Leone Creole or Krio ethnicity today[5][6] and in 2011, a statue was erected in Freetown to honour him.[7]


The founder of modern Senegal is Léopold Sédar Senghor. He served as first President from 1960 to 1980.


James Mancham served as first President of Seychelles from 1976 to 1977. He was one of the last White African presidents in the history of Africa. He considered himself the self-proclaimed "Founding Father"; however this title is often attributed to his socialist successor France-Albert René, who led the country to become one of the most democratic and most economically stable states in Africa.


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 Somaliland[edit]

Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal was the founder and first prime minister of Somaliland.

Republic of South Africa[edit]

Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was the President of South Africa, in office from 1994 to 1999. He led the negotiations, together with F. W. de Klerk, to racially integrate and unite the country.

Other anti-apartheid activists include:

South Sudan[edit]

  • John Garang was the main figure involved in spawning and leading the South Sudanese Independence Movement. Even though he did not live to see his country attain independence, he is often regarded as the "Father of the Nation."
  • Salva Kiir Mayardit serves as first President of South Sudan from 2011 to present.


Ibrahim Abboud served as first President of Sudan from 1958 to 1964.


Julius Nyerere

Being the first President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere was the main figure involved in achieving Tanzania's independence. He is often regarded as the "Father of the Nation."


Sylvanus Olympio served as first President of Togo from 1960 to 1963.


Habib Bourguiba, considered the founder of modern Tunisia, led Tunisia to independence from France in 1956 as prime minister, then abolished its monarchy and served as the country's first President from 1957 to 1987; during his leadership, he modernized Tunisia, built schools and hospitals, and gave Tunisian women better human rights than other countries, and these rights still continue to be exercised by Tunisian women to this day.


Milton Obote was a Ugandan political leader who led Uganda to independence from British colonial rule in 1962. Following the nation's independence, he served as prime minister of Uganda from 1962 to 1966 and the second president of Uganda from 1966 to 1971, then again from 1980 to 1985.


Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda (1924–2021) is the prominent icon in the independence and unification of Zambia. He served as first President from 1964 to 1991. 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.


Abel Muzorewa (1925–2010) was the first black Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
Robert Mugabe (1924–2019) was the leader of ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front), who ruled Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2017.


Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

Vere Bird served as first Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda from 1981 to 1994.


The Argentine military commander José de San Martín is known as the "Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru".[8]

The military commander José de San Martín was one of the most important figures of the War of Independence (1810–1818) in Argentina, where he is known as the "Father of the Homeland" (Spanish: Padre de la Patria) and the date of his death (or "Passage to Immortality"; "Pasaje a la Inmortalidad in Spanish) is commemorated as a national holiday.[9] One of the main libertadores of the Spanish American wars of independence, San Martín played a crucial role in the expulsion of royalist forces not only from Argentina but also from Chile and Peru, where he is thus also celebrated as a national hero.[10] One of his most celebrated feats is the 1817 Crossing of the Andes, when he crossed the mountain range from present-day Argentina to present-day Chile, in a surprise attack on royalist forces.[11]

Manuel Belgrano, another important leader of the War of Independence and creator of the flag of Argentina, is also widely regarded as a national hero.[12]

María Remedios del Valle, an Afro-Argentine camp follower turned soldier who participated in the War of Independence, is regarded as the "Mother of the Homeland" (Spanish: Madre de la Patria).[13]


Lynden Pindling is considered the "Father of the Nation". He served as first Prime Minister of the Bahamas from 1967 to 1992. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1973.


Errol Barrow served as first Prime Minister of Barbados from 1966 to 1976.


George Cadle Price (1919–2011) is considered to be the Father of the Nation of Belize.[14][15] He served as head of government of British Honduras, later Belize from 1961 to 1984. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1981.


Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) and Antonio José de Sucre (1795–1830) are considered to be the founders of Bolivia.


Pedro I, founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil

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.[16]

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".[17]

Caribbean Community[edit]

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.[18]


Posthumous (1854) portrait of the Founding Fathers of the Chilean Republic. From left to right: José Miguel Carrera, Bernardo O'Higgins, José de San Martín, Diego Portales

Bernardo O'Higgins (1778–1842) and José Miguel Carrera (1785–1821) are usually considered the founders of Chile. Diego Portales (1793–1837) is sometimes considered due to his influence in the 1833 Constitution.


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.

Costa Rica[edit]

Juan Mora Fernández, first Head of State of Costa Rica.[19] José María Castro Madriz, First President of the Republic and proclaimed "Founder of the Republic" by Congress[20] Juan Rafael Mora Porras, President during Costa Rica's campaign against William Walker, proclaimed "Hero and Liberator" by Congress.


Carlos Manuel de Céspedes is considered the Cuban Founding Father. In 1868 he freed his slaves and declared the independence of Cuba, which began the Ten Years' War (1868–1878).

José Martí is a Cuban national hero.

Modern day Cuba was shaped by Fidel Castro with help from Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution.


Patrick John served as first Prime Minister of Dominica from 1978 to 1979.

Dominican Republic[edit]

Matías Ramón Mella (1816–1864), Juan Pablo Duarte (1813–1876) and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez (1817–1861) 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.[21]


Jose Joaquin Olmedo took this as a cue to declare Ecuador's independence at a junta in Guayaquil in 1820.

El Salvador[edit]

José Matías Delgado is considered to be the "Father of the Salvadoran Fatherland".[22]


Eric Gairy served as head of government of Grenada from 1967 to 1979. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1974.


In 1523, Pedro de Alvarado, a member of Hernán Cortés' group that conquered Mexico, was sent to conquer the area of land below Mexico that is known today as Guatemala.


Explorer Christopher Columbus sighted the Guyana coast in 1498, and Spain subsequently claimed, but largely avoided, the area between the Orinoco and Amazon deltas, a region long known as the Wild Coast. It was the Dutch who finally began European settlement, establishing trading posts upriver in about 1580.Arthur Raymond Chung (10 January 1918 – 23 June 2008) was the 1st President of Guyana from 1970 to 1980.


Toussaint Louverture of Haiti

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.


Founders of the Honduran Nation are José Cecilio del Valle (1777–1834), Dionisio de Herrera (1781–1850), Francisco Morazán (1792–1842), José Trinidad Reyes (1797–1855), and José Trinidad Cabañas (1805–1871).


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. 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.


According to the decrees of the Congress of the Union of Mexico issued in 1822 and 1823,[23] 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).

Nine of the thirteen founders are buried in the Monument to Independence in Mexico City.[24]


José Anacleto Ordóñez, "First Popular Caudillo of Nicaragua"

José Anacleto Ordóñez (1778–1839) is recognised as the "First Popular Caudillo of Nicaragua", as he led the state to independence by revolting against the pro Mexican government in 1823. Later he served as Head of State of Nicaragua within the Federal Republic of Central America.

José Núñez (1800–1880) and Joaquín del Cossío (1789–unknown) were the most important figures in Nicaragua's Independence, as they started the first and second transitional governments that declared to the State's Independence from the FRCA in 1838.

Fruto Chamorro (1804–1855) is considered as "Founder of the Republic", as he initiated the 1854 Constitution which formally declared Nicaragua a Republic.


The first Spanish settlement in Panama was made in 1510. Then on 25 September 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean (which he called the South Sea and which he claimed for Spain). Then in 1519 Pedro Arias de Avila founded Panama City.


José Gaspár Rodríguez de Francia is considered the founder of Paraguay. He was named perpetual dictator as of the country's formation. Although he was the one that ended up ruling the country, Rodríguez de Francia was not the only prócer of the 1811 revolution, others include: Fulgencio Yegros, Pedro Juan Caballero, Fernando de la Mora, Mauricio José Troche and Vicente Ignacio Iturbe. Yegros also served as consul alongside Francia, shortly before being deposed by him.

General Andrés Rodríguez was the first democratically elected president of Paraguay, shortly after leading the 1989 coup that ended Alfredo Stroessner's dictatorship. This is why he is often considered the father of modern Paraguay.


José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar led Peru to independence and forged the country.[25]

Pachacuti, the 9th Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco, is the founder of the Inca Empire.

Saint Kitts and Nevis[edit]

Centre-Left Labour Party founded to campaign for independence of the country in 1932.

Saint Lucia[edit]

Saint Lucia was first known as Louanalao by the Arawak Indians in 200 AD, meaning "Island of the Iguanas", and then Hewanorra in 800 AD when the Carib Indians arrived and assimilated their culture into Saint Lucia. Residents of Carib descent can still be found in Saint Lucia today.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[edit]

The French (centred on the island of Martinique) would be the first European settlers on the island when they established their first colony at Barrouallie on the Leeward side of St. Vincent in 1719.

South America[edit]

Simón Bolívar of Venezuela

José de San Martín,[26] Simón Bolívar,[27] Antonio José de Sucre, Francisco de Paula Santander,[28] Francisco de Miranda[29] have been referred to as the founding fathers of the region comprising modern day Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Panama.


Johan Ferrier served as first President of Suriname from 1975 to 1980.

Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

Eric Williams served as first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1962 to 1981.


José Gervasio Artigas is considered to be the founder of Uruguay. He was a staunch democrat and federalist, opposed to monarchism and centralism.

United States[edit]

George Washington, chief among the founders of the United States, called "the Father of his country" (Pater Patriae)

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, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, and ordinary citizens took part in winning U.S. independence and creating the United States of America.[30]

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. 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, and Hugo Chávez as the founding father of modern Venezuela.



Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of Afghanistan

Ahmad Shah Durrani (1723–1773) unified the Afghan tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747.[31] 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).

However, the founding father of modern Afghanistan is Mohammad Zahir Shah, the last King of Afghanistan. Due to this, the Afghan parliament gave him the title of "Father of the Nation."



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.


Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa served as first Prime Minister of Bahrain from 1970 to 2020. Independence from United Kingdom was achieved in 1971.


Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is considered by many as the founding father of Bangladesh

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.


According to local historiography, the country of Brunei was founded by Awang Alak Betatar, later to be Sultan Muhammad Shah, reigning around AD 1400.

Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia


Kaundinya I was the founder of ancient Khmer kingdom of Funan.

Jayavarman II (770–850) was the founder of the Khmer Empire.

Norodom Sihanouk (1922–2012) declared Cambodia's independence from France in 1953 and is regarded as the nation's founding father.


The Yellow Thearch is revered as the legendary initiator of Chinese civilization, one of the cradles of civilization.[38]

Yu the Great is conventionally regarded as having inaugurated dynastic rule in China by establishing the Xia dynasty, the first orthodox dynasty of China, in circa 2070 BC.[39]

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.[40] 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.[40]

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.[41] 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").[42]

Mao Zedong is regarded as the founder of the People's Republic of China,[43] even though the state has yet to officially confer the title "Father of the Nation" upon anyone.[44]

Yellow Thearch
Yellow Thearch
Yu the Great
Yu the Great
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong


Makarios III (1913–1977), archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church of Cyprus (1950–1977), and first president of Cyprus (1960–1977), is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".[45]

Conversely, Rauf Denktaş (1924–2012), under Makarios III second and last Vice President of Cyprus (1973–1974), and first President of Northern Cyprus (1983–2005), is considered the founding father of Northern Cyprus.[46]

East Timor[edit]

Xanana Gusmao served as President of East Timor from 2002 to 2007.

East Turkistan[edit]

Sabit Damolla is considered the father of the nation and one of the most prominent leaders of the East Turkistan independence movement. He organized the Kumul Rebellion which erupted in 1931 into a full national liberation movement and served as the Prime Minister of the First East Turkestan Republic from 1933 to 1934.


Mahatma Gandhi of India

Chandragupta Maurya (350-295 BCE), the founder of the Mauryan Empire, is considered as the first unifier of India. His chief advisor, Chanakya, is regarded as one of the earliest people who envisioned a united India spanning the entire subcontinent.

Later, directly or indirectly, majority of the subcontinent was united for a brief period under the Gupta Empire (319-550 CE), the Rashtrakutas (753 – 982 CE) , the Mughal Empire (1526-1707) and the Maratha Confederacy (1674–1818).

Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) is considered the father of the nation and one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement.[47][48] He is regarded as the founder of the modern Republic of India. He is featured on the Indian rupee.


The 4 general founders of Indonesia are generally considered to be Mohammad Hatta, Sukarno, Sutan Syahrir and Tan Malaka.[49] Sukarno is considered to be a founding father by some Indonesians, although he had an authoritarian rule during the time of his presidency. Mohammad Hatta is generally considered as one of the more democratic founder of Indonesia. They both signed the Proclamation of Independence, 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 proclamation of independence immediately, 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 27 December 1949.[50]

Mohammad Hatta
Sutan Sjahrir
Tan Malaka


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.[51][52] 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.[53][54]

Ruhollah Khomeini is considered the founder of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran.[55]


Theodor Herzl of Israel.

Theodor Herzl is considered the founder of political Zionism, the modern ideology that institutionalized the longstanding Jewish desire to return to the homeland, which eventually lead to the founding of Israel decades later.

David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel, and is often considered an important founding figure as well as a leader of Labor Zionism, Israel's founding ideology. Ben-Gurion lead Israel for a total of thirteen years and is today admired by both the left and the right.

Other figures include Moshe Dayan, who became a war hero and symbol of the Israel Defense Forces and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who led the revival of the Hebrew language.


Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇, Jinmu-tennō) (traditional reign 660–585 BC) was the first emperor of Japan,[56] according to the traditional order of succession.[57] 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.[58]


Abdullah I of Jordan

Abdullah bin Al-Hussain was the founder and ruler of the Jordanian realm from 11 April 1921 until his assassination on 20 July 1951.

He was the Emir of Transjordan, a British protectorate, until 25 May 1946,[59][60] after which he was the king of an independent Jordan. He was a 38th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad, as he belongs to the Hashemite family.


Alikhan Bokeikhanov, leader and founder of the Alash Orda national liberation movement.

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".

North Korea[edit]

Dangun, Legendary founding father of Korea.

Kim Il-sung was the founder of North Korea. He ruled from 1948 to 1994. After his death, he was declared as the Eternal President of North Korea in 1998.

South Korea[edit]

Dangun, the legendary first king of Gojoseon, is venerated in Korea as the founder of the Korean nation and peoples. His legendary birthday and the day he founded Gojoseon is celebrated as National Foundation Day (개천절), which falls on 3 October. There have been many founders throughout history such as Lee Seonggye, Taejo Wang Geon, and Dongmyeong the great.

There is no official founding father of South Korea who is generally accepted nor acknowledged by the government, though some figures like Syngman Rhee or Kim Ku are proposed as the father of his country.


The first recorded ruler of Kuwait was Sheikh Abu Salman Sabah. However, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabir is known as the founder of the modern state of Kuwait. He was instrumental in moving the country away from the Ottoman Empire and toward British influence.


Askar Akayev served as first post-Soviet President of Kyrgyzstan from 1990 to 2005.


Fa Ngum is widely considered a founding father of the Lao people. In present-day Laos, Kaysonne Phomvihane and Prince Souphanouvoung are considered the fathers of the Marxist–Leninist state.


Bechara El Khoury and Riad El Solh served as the first president and the first Prime Minister respectively of Lebanon after the French mandate in 1943.


Sumuvvul Ameer Mohamed Ameen Dhoshimeynaa Kilegefaanu, commonly known as Mohamed Ameen Didi, was the first elected president of the Maldives in 1953. After he passed away, Muhammad Fareed Didi I (The former sultan's heir) took power. He was succeeded by the former Prime Minister of the Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir.


Tunku Abdul Rahman of Malaysia

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 posthumous portrait

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.[citation needed] Although downcast during the communist-era, Genghis Khan's reputation surged after the democratic revolution in 1990.


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 colonial administrators in Burma of misconduct. In late 1940 he went to Japanese controlled Taiwan and Xiamen to receive military training, and he led the Burma Independence 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.

U Nu served as first Prime Minister of Myanmar from 1948 to 1956.

General Ne Win was one of the founders of Tatmadaw. On 1962, 15 years after the independence, he led a military coup that brought him to power. Ne Win established the Burmese Way to Socialism which ruled Burma for 26 years.


Prithvi Narayan Shah of Nepal

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.[61] 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.


Sultan Qaboos bin Said changed the name of the country from the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman to simply Oman.


Muhammad Ali Jinnah of Pakistan

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. He founded not only the Islamic Republic of Pakistan but is credited for creating an entirely new nation state. 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 because he provided the Two-Nation Theory which played a central role in the perception of Pakistan and its Muslim nationalist ideology largely based on Iqbal's philosophy and views.


Yasser Arafat of Palestine

Palestinian political leader Yasser Arafat has been considered by some commentators as being the "founding father" of Palestine.[62][63] Born in 1929 in Cairo, Egypt, Arafat soon became a supporter of Arab nationalism and anti-Zionism; in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, he fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood against the newly independent State of Israel.[64] From 1969 until 2004, he served as the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a Palestinian nationalist organization which engaged in a numerous guerrilla conflicts with the Israel Defense Forces during the second half of the 20th century.[65]

Beginning from 1983 onwards, Arafat based himself in Tunisia and switched to a tactic of negotiating with the Israeli government, acknowledging Israel's right to exist in a UN resolution and supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Arafat engaged in a series of negotiations with the Israeli government to end the conflict between it and the PLO, including the Madrid Conference of 1991, the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2000 Camp David Summit.[66] In 1994, he returned to Palestine and promoted self-government for the Palestinian territories, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize the same year. Among Palestinians, Arafat is viewed as a martyr who symbolized the national aspirations of his people.[67]


José Rizal of the Philippines

There is no law in the Philippines which officially recognizes any 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) rebel leader during the Philippine Revolution in 1896, which saw armed resistance against the Spanish Empire. Emilio Aguinaldo (1869–1964) Military Leader with the highest rank of Generalissimo of the Philippine Revolution and first president of the Philippines through the 1899 Malolos Congress, which oversaw the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution. Manuel Roxas (1892-1948) served as first President of independent Philippines from 1946 to 1948.

Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia


Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani is the founder of the State of Qatar. He was a military leader, judge and scholar, knight and poet possessing both gallantry and magnanimity.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

King Abdulaziz Al Saud, also known as Ibn Saud, is the founding father of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He served as first King from 1932 to 1953.


Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015), often referred to by his initials "LKY", was the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades, from 1959 to 1990. Lee has helped to build the economy from a third world country to a first world country and turned Singapore into a metropolis after the separation from Malaysia in 1965.

Don Stephen Senanayaka of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka[edit]

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.


Hashim al-Atassi, who had been Prime Minister under King Faisal's brief reign, was the first president to be elected under a new constitution, effectively the first incarnation of the modern republic of Syria.


Emomali Rahmon was the first president of Tajikistan and founder of the country. He has been in office since 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union.



Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey
  • Alp Arslan (1029–1072) was the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire. He greatly expanded the Seljuk territory and consolidated his power, defeating rivals to the south and northwest, and his victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, in 1071, ushered in the Turkoman settlement of Anatolia.
  • Osman I (1258–1324), was the leader of the Kayi tribe and the founder of the Ottoman dynasty.
  • Mehmed the Conqueror (1432–1481), was an Ottoman sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, and then later from February 1451 to May 1481. When he ascended the throne again in 1451 he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire.
  • Mahmud II (1785–1839) was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. His reign is recognized for the extensive administrative, military, and fiscal reforms he instituted, which culminated in the Decree of Tanzimat ("reorganization"). Mahmud's reforms included the 1826 abolition of the conservative Janissary corps, which removed a major obstacle to his and his successors' reforms in the Empire. The reforms he instituted were characterized by political and social changes, which would eventually lead to the birth of the modern Turkish Republic.
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938) was 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.[68] He subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming the old multinational Ottoman state into a new secular republic.[69]


Saparmurat Niyazov served as first post-Soviet President of Turkmenistan from 1990 to 2006.

United Arab Emirates[edit]

Initially independent emirates part of the Trucial states, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan established the United Arab Emirates by joining the seven independent emirates into a federation.


In Uzbekistan, no single individual is officially recognized as the "Founder of the Nation." However, different figures have been viewed as founders of Uzbekistan during various eras throughout history.

Muhammad Shaybani the Uzbek ruler, founder of Shaybanid Dynasty of the Khanate of Bukhara
Amir Timur

Amir Timur is widely regarded as the main historical hero for modern Uzbekistan, as he founded the Timurid Empire and made significant contributions to the development of Uzbek Statehood.

Another significant historical figure, Muhammad Shaybani, is considered to be a significant founder of the nation due to his proximity in time to the establishment of the Uzbek state. He was an Uzbek leader who consolidated various Uzbek tribes and laid the foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana and the establishment of the Khanate of Bukhara.

Fayzulla Xoʻjayev in 1896

And Fayzulla Xoʻjayev was the founder of modern Uzbekistan. He first head of the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic, which would later form part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. He became well known in the early 20th century as an advocate for Uzbekistani independence and as a leader of the Jadidist movement. This movement aimed to modernize and secularize Islamic society in Central Asia.

Khodzhayev's political career was marked by several challenges, including periods of exile and imprisonment. In 1920, he briefly served as the first prime minister of the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic. As Prime Minister, Khodjaev implemented a series of reforms aimed at promoting industrialization and collectivization in Uzbekistan. He also supported efforts to promote Uzbek culture and language, including the establishment of a national theater and the publication of a national encyclopedia. Khodjaev's political career came to an abrupt end in 1937, when he was arrested as part of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. He was accused of espionage and treason and was executed in 1938. Today, Khodjaev is remembered as an important figure in the history of Uzbekistan and as a symbol of the complex relationship between the Central Asian republics and the Soviet Union. His legacy continues to be debated, with some seeing him as a progressive reformer and others as a Soviet stooge who contributed to the suppression of Uzbek national identity.


Kinh Dương VươngLạc Long Quân and the Hùng Kings were the founders of the Hồng Bàng dynasty – the first dynasty of Vietnam and laid the foundation to form the country of Vietnam.


Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din ruled as first independent King of Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen from 1918 to 1948.



Ismail Kemal of Albania

Ismail Kemal (24 January 1844 – 26 January 1919) 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 prime minister and head of state and government.


The first Co-Princes of Andorra were Roger-Bernard III, Count of Foix and Pere d'Urtx, Bishop of Urgell, who signed the Paréage, which gave them joint sovereignty over Andorra in 1278.


Karl Renner, who was the first Chancellor of Austria and the first post-war President of Austria after World War II, is often referred to as the "Father of the Republic" due to his leadership of the First Austrian Republic, and for playing a decisive role in establishing the present Second Austrian republic.



Though there is no official founding father of Belgium, the leaders of the Belgian Revolution, Charles Rogier and Erasme Louis Surlet de Chokier, as well as the first King of the Belgians, Leopold I, were key figures in the independence of Belgium from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]


Mythical rulers of Bulgaria date back as far as 3rd millennium BC.





Makarios III (1913–1977), archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church of Cyprus (1950–1977), and first president of Cyprus (1960–1977), is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".[45]

Conversely, Rauf Denktaş (1924–2012), under Makarios III second and last Vice President of Cyprus (1973–1974), and first President of Northern Cyprus (1983–2005), is considered the founding father of Northern Cyprus.[46]

Czech Republic[edit]


Gorm the Old
Niels Ebbesen (1308 – 21 November 1340)
  • 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.


Edgar Savisaar served as first post-Soviet Prime Minister of Estonia from 1991 to 1992.


Pehr Evind Svinhufvud served as first Prime Minister of Finland from 1917 to 1918.




Otto von Bismarck

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 WagnerHenry the Fowler. Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), the "Iron Chancellor", engineered the unification of the numerous states of Germany in 1871.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]





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.


Jón Sigurðsson was the leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement.[81] He was the first president of the Althingi, restored as a legislative branch in 1875.


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.




Modern Italy[edit]

Giuseppe Garibaldi


It is likely that the Kosovo Albanians regard Ibrahim Rugova as a key figure, since he was the one that brought an independence movement of Kosovo from the fall of Yugoslavia. Additionally, Rugova ruled Kosovo from the 1992 till 2006 as president of the nation, and ever since has been regarded as the National Hero of Kosovo, and led to further independence in 2008 from Serbia to which now 97 nations have recognised Kosovo as of September 2021.


Most Latvians regard Kārlis Ulmanis, a key figure in the Latvian war of independence and four-times Prime Minister of Latvia, as being the founding father of modern Latvia.



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.[84] 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".[85]


Sigfried, Count of the Ardennes


Anthony Mamo (1909–2008) was the first president of the Republic of Malta.




Petar I Petrović-Njegoš (1747–1830) acquired de facto independence for Montenegro from the Ottoman Empire and created the first Montenegrin law in the 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 ("Father of the Fatherland").[89]

North Macedonia[edit]

Kiro Gligorov (first president of independent Macedonia).[90]



Mieszko I of Poland


Kingdom of Poland and Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów:

  • 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").
Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania under Władysław II Jagiełło rule.
Gen. Józef Piłsudski (first on the left) Ignacy Jan Paderewski (next to Piłsudski in the a civil coat) and Stanisław Wojciechowski (behind Paderewski), future second President of Poland, during the opening ceremony of the Legislative Sejm, 9 February 1919.

Fathers of Polish Independence:



  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Basarab I the Founder (c. 1270-1351/1352) was the great voivode of Wallachia. Basarab either came into power between 1304 and 1324 by dethroning or peacefully succeeding the legendary founder of Wallachia, Radu Negru, or in 1310 by succeeding his father, Thocomerius. In 1330 he defeated Charles I of Hungary at the battle of Posada, and the first independent Romanian state was consequently founded. He founded the Basarab dynasty and his descendants ruled Wallachia for more than three centuries. From the middle of the 14th century, some foreign chronicles used derivations of his name: "Basarab", when referring to Wallachia.
  • Michael the Brave (1558–1601) was the Prince of Wallachia (1593–1601), Prince of Moldavia (1600) and de facto ruler of Transylvania (1599–1600). He is considered one of Romania's greatest national heroes. Since the 19th century, Michael the Brave has been regarded as a symbol of the unity of all Romanians, as his reign marked the first time all states mainly inhabited by Romanians were under the same ruler.
  • 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.
  • Carol I was the first King of Romania that obtained the independence of the country.
  • Ion C. Brătianu established the foundation of the modern Romanian State.
  • Mihail Kogălniceanu established the foundation of the modern Romanian State.
  • Ferdinand I was King of Romania when the country gained Transylvania and Bessarabia.


San Marino[edit]

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.



Many Slovaks see Great Moravia as their ancestors, which would make Mojmír I a founder.


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 of Spain

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.

Gustav I of Sweden, who secured Sweden's independence from Denmark in 1523, is often considered a father of the nation.


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.[citation needed]


Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv were brothers who founded city of Kyiv in 482 CE

Oleg the Wise who was first Grand Prince of Kiev and created Kyivan Rus in 880

Daniel of Galicia was King of Ruthenia

In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Petro Doroshenko led the largest of the Cossack uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king.

Mykhailo Hrushevsky was the President the Central Council of Ukraine People's Republic.

Leonid Kravchuk is the First President of Ukraine elected in 1991.

United Kingdom[edit]

Robert Walpole

Alfred the Great is generally considered the first King of England, while the modern English polity is often considered founded by William the Conqueror, William I of England following the Norman Conquest, and from which the present Royal Family continuse to assert descent. Ireland was brought under Norman English dominion in 1189 under Henry II of England, Wales was subdued between 1093 and 1293; before this Brian Boru in Ireland and Owain the Great in Wales had been figures of national importance in the context of fragmented polities. Scotland and England had a centuries long history of invasion and counter invasion, and the Scottish national heroes William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, as well as the Declaration of Arbroath, asserting Scottish nationhood and sovereignty, date from that period.

Scotland and England were finally united dynastically rather than militarily, and James VI and I was regarded by some as the first king of Great Britain (both England and Scotland). The sovereign United Kingdom of Great Britain, however, dates from the Acts of Union 1707, under Queen Anne, while the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, later Northern Ireland, was created in 1801 by a further Act of Union - up to that point Great Britain and Ireland were de jure two separate kingdoms in personal Union. Robert Walpole is generally considered the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Following Irish independence, the Northern Ireland Parliament operated largely autonomously from London, with the leaders Edward Carson and Sir James Craig, Lord Craigavon, considered by unionists to be its founding fathers. The reinstallment of the Scottish Parliament as a devolved institution in 1999 under the influence of Donald Dewar led to his recognition as the "Father of Scottish devolution" and "Father of the Nation".

Vatican City[edit]

Peter the Apostle is seen as the first pope.

Vatican City took on its modern form under the Lateran Treaty signed by Pope Pius XI.



Early colonial era[edit]

Late colonial and federation era[edit]

Sir Henry Parkes, colonial Australian politician, premier of New South Wales and "Father of Federation"
  • Sir Henry Parkes 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.[95]
  • 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.[96]
  • John Dunmore Lang. Although passing away over two decades before federation, John Dunmore Lang was a strong advocate of a federation of the Australian colonies as a democratic republic, independent from the British Empire.[97][98]
  • Sir Edmund Barton was the first Australian Prime Minister. Unlike many other nation's inaugural leaders, he is not often regarded as a Founder of Australia

Federated States of Micronesia[edit]

Chief Justice Andon Amaraich is regarded as "one of the founding fathers of the Federated States of Micronesia".[99][100]


Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara is widely viewed as the "Founding Father" of an independent Fiji.[101][102][103][104][105]


The I-Kiribati or Gilbertese people settled what would become known as the Gilbert Islands (named for British captain Thomas Gilbert by von Krusenstern in 1820) some time in between 3000 BC[1] [2] and 1300 AD.

Marshall Islands[edit]

The British naval captains John Marshall and Thomas Gilbert partially explored the Marshalls in 1788, but much of the mapping was done by Russian expeditions under Adam Johann Krusenstern (1803) and Otto von Kotzebue (1815 and 1823).


Hammer DeRoburt dominated the political scene for the first two decades of the republic; he served as president for most of the postindependence period until being voted out of office in 1989. Thereafter, national politics was marked by a series of weak, short-lived governments; the presidency tended to be traded among a small number of politicians.

New Zealand[edit]

Maori people consider Kupe, a mythologised figure who led the first Polynesian migration to New Zealand from Hawaiki in the 10th century, to be a founding figure and the common ancestor of all Maori. In the 19th century, the Scottish businessman, James Busby, drafted the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand and co-authored the Treaty of Waitangi with the Royal Navy officer, William Hobson. It is considered by many to be the founding document of the nation of New Zealand. [citation needed]


Palau was truly discovered by the Europeans on 28 December 1696 when the first map of Palau was drawn by the Czech missionary Paul Klein.

Papua New Guinea[edit]

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is viewed as the "Founding Father" of Papua New Guinea.[106][107][108][109] The leading figure during the country's transition to independence from Australia, he was Papua New Guinea's first Prime Minister.


In 1722, Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to see the islands. This visit was followed by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), the man who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768.

Solomon Islands[edit]

It is believed that at least 30,000 years ago, the first Papuan settlement from New Guinea happened in the Solomon Islands. Most of the languages spoken in the Solomons derive from this era. Spanish explorer Alvoro de Mendana was the first European to officially sight the islands and found signs of gold on Guadalcanal.


George Tupou I founded the modern Kingdom of Tonga

King George Tupou I, who united his country and established the contemporary Kingdom of Tonga, has been described as Tonga's "founding father".[110][111]


Captain John Byron passed through the islands of Tuvalu in 1764 during his circumnavigation of the globe as captain of the Dolphin (1751). Byron charted the atolls as Lagoon Islands.


The first settlers to arrive in Vanuatu are believed to have arrived by canoe approximately 3,500 years ago from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In 1606, the Portuguese explorer, Pedro Fernández de Quirós, discovered the island of Espiritu Santo, which he thought was a great southern continent.

Former states and other territories[edit]

Arabian Peninsula[edit]

After the Hijrah (622), the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (570–632) assumed political leadership over Yathrib, present day Medina. This feat in and of itself was unheard of, as the city consisted of both Jews and Arab pagans. Alongside consolidating his power in Medina, the Battle of Badr (624) saw the de facto leadership of Mecca destabilised. Eventually, at the Conquest of Mecca (629–630) Muhammad took leadership over his tribesmen. Furthermore, Muhammad oversaw delegations and armies sent across Arabia, including Yemen. The last Persian governor Badhan converted to Islam (628), thus including Southern Arabia under Islamic rule. Pre-Islamic Arabia was strife with tribalism and territoriality, therefore it was implausible for tribes to elect leaders let alone Arabia itself. Yet come Muhammad's death (632), Arabia was unified under one polity and religion.

Despite this state not possessing a specific name, it proved to be the platform for the Rashidun Caliphs (632–661) to eventually look beyond the Arabian Peninsula to the Byzantine and Sassanid 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.


Kingdom of England[edit]

It was King Athelstan (893/95–939) 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.

Kingdom of Hawaiʻi[edit]

Polynesians arrived on the islands from 1000-1200 AD, becoming Native Hawaiians. However, it was in 1795 when King Kamehameha I conceived the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and unified the islands, beginning modern Hawaiian history.

Ancient Korea[edit]

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, lit.'Festival of the Opening of Heaven'). However, in North Korea, Gaecheonjeol is not celebrated and recognized at all, unlike South Korea.

Ottoman Empire[edit]

Osman I, the founding father of the Turkish Empire

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.[112]

Russian Empire[edit]

Kingdom of Scotland[edit]

It was King Kenneth MacAlpin (841–858) who united Pictland and Scotland, around the year 843, when he became King of Scots, as opposed to his previous title, King of Dál Riada. However, his fame is partly eclipsed by Malcolm III (1058–1093), who was the first king to rule over nearly all Scotland, after annexing Strathclyde.[116]

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.[117]

Serbia and Montenegro[edit]

Soviet Union[edit]

Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union and the leader of the Bolshevik party.
Leon Trotsky, founder of the Red Army and a key figure in the October Revolution.

Republic of Texas[edit]


Republic of Vietnam[edit]

Ngô Đình Diệm (1901–1963), first president of South Vietnam.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia[edit]

King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, known as Alexander the Unifier.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia[edit]

Josip Broz Tito, Marshal of Yugoslavia (1943–1980).

Union of South Africa[edit]

  • Louis Botha was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, and Jan Smuts, its second prime minister, was a prominent advocate of unification and seen in more recent polls as the Union of South Africa's greatest historical leader.
  • 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).[126][127]


Mobutu Sese Seko was the founder of Zaire and its only president.


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