List of national founders
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.
- 1 Africa
- 2 Asia
- 3 Europe
- 3.1 Albania
- 3.2 Armenia
- 3.3 Azerbaijan
- 3.4 Bohemia
- 3.5 Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 3.6 Bulgaria
- 3.7 Croatia
- 3.8 Czech Republic
- 3.9 England
- 3.10 France
- 3.11 Georgia
- 3.12 Germany
- 3.13 Greece
- 3.14 Hungary
- 3.15 Ireland
- 3.16 Italy
- 3.17 Macedonia
- 3.18 Montenegro
- 3.19 Netherlands
- 3.20 Norway
- 3.21 Poland
- 3.22 Portugal
- 3.23 Romania
- 3.24 San Marino
- 3.25 Serbia
- 3.26 Slovakia
- 3.27 Slovenia
- 3.28 Spain
- 3.29 Sweden
- 3.30 Switzerland
- 3.31 Ukraine
- 3.32 United Kingdom
- 3.33 Turkey
- 3.34 Wales
- 3.35 Yugoslavia
- 4 Eurasia
- 5 Americas
- 6 Oceania
- 7 References
Amílcar Cabral (var. Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral) (12 September 1924 – 20 January 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 founding father of Cape Verde.
The Founder of Independent Egypt Saad Zaghloul (1859-August 23, 1927) was a politician who served in many ministries of the Egyptian government, and was imprisoned by the British in Malta, but returned to Egypt to complete the revolution in 1919. Zaghloul then was able to make the Sultan of Egypt (later King) Fuad I convince the British to give 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.
Ahmed Sékou Touré (var. Ahmed Seku Turay) (January 9, 1922 – March 26, 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 Kuruma one of the founding fathers of the African Union, and the Guinean Diallo Telly was the first general secretary of the African Union.
Whilst Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972) led the nation to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, he features as only one part of Ghana's six founding fathers commonly known as The Big Six (Ghana). The Big Six were Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori Atta as well as Nkrumah. They faced the British government on behalf of returning soldiers and then set in motion the establishing of the republic independent from the British government.
Jomo Kenyatta - served as the first Prime Minister (1963–1964) and President (1964–1978) of the Republic.
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, (12 March 1889 – 25 May 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 founding father of Namibia is Dr. Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, who fought for Namibia's independence from South Africa.
- Herbert Macaulay (1864–1946)
- Professor Eyo Ita (1904-1980s)
- 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)
- Sir Egbert Udo Udoma (1917-1998)
- General Murtala Mohammed (1938–1976)
- Al-Haji Aminu Kano (1920–1983)
- Joseph Tarka (1932–1980)
- Dennis Osadebay (1911–1994)
are considered founding fathers of Nigeria. The troika of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Ahmadu Bello negotiated Nigeria's independence from Britain, aided by such figures as Chieftess 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.
Jan van Riebeeck (1619–1677) was the first Governor of the Cape and later of Batavia, he allowed for many more Europeans to go to the Cape, later leading to the foundation of the Cape Colony. The Voortrekkers were the Founding Fathers of the Transvaal Republic, Orange Free State, and other Boer republics which make up a vast area of present-day South Africa.
- Oliver Tambo
- Walter Sisulu
- Govan Mbeki
- Joe Slovo
- Ahmed Kathrada
- Raymond Mhlaba
- Robert Sobukwe
- Joe Modise
- Chris Hani
Julius Nyerere - Key figure in the independence of the country and first President.
The founding father of the modern Tunisia is Habib Bourguiba.
- Rekayi Tangwena
- 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).
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) was the first president of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. In an opinion poll conducted by the BBC Bengali service in 2003, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was voted "The Greatest Bengali of All Time". He was the founder of Bangladesh and Father of the nation.
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.
Sun Yat-sen is referred to as the "Father of the Country" (國父) of the Republic of China. However, following the Chinese Civil War, the Republic of China was split up into two states, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China, commonly referred to as Taiwan. Mao Zedong is commonly accredited with being the architect of the People's Republic of China.
Huangdi is revered as the legendary founder and initiator of Chinese civilization.
Sun Yat-sen is revered as the founding father ("Father of the Country" - 國父) of the Republic of China.
Huangdi (reigned between 2698–2598 BC) is revered as the legendary founder and initiator of Chinese civilization.
Emperor Bharata is considered the founder of Bhārat which is an official name of the Republic of India.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) is considered as India's Father of the Nation . His birthday on October 2 is observed as a national holiday. Other prominent Indian independence activists include Jawaharlal Nehru who served as the first Prime Minister of India (1947–64), Vallabhbhai Patel who served as the first Home Minister of India, Dr B.R. Ambedkar who served as first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India, C. Rajagopalachari who served as the last Governor-General of the Dominion of India, J. B. Kripalani and Abul Kalam Azad both of whom served as presidents of the Indian National Congress.
Although this usage is declining, when used in the plural, as the "Founding fathers" it usually refers to the members of the Constitutional Assembly's Draft Committee of the first Cabinet of the Republic of India.
Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta are the founding fathers 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.
Theodor Herzl is considered the founding father of the Zionist movement and thus indirectly a founding father of Israel. David Ben-Gurion was the founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel. Abraham is revered as the father of the Jewish People, while King David is revered as the greatest of all Jewish Kings.
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".
Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇 Jinmu-tennō?) (traditional reign 18 February 660 BC – 9 April 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 February 11 in commemoration of the founding of the nation of Japan and the ascension of Emperor Jimmu to the imperial throne.
Kim Il-sung was the first leader of North Korea at the time of the establishment of the country in 1948.
Before 1945, North Korea and South Korea were both one country, sharing the same history.
Hwanung (환웅/桓雄) and his son Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검/檀君王儉), legendary founders of Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea as a whole. Hwanung was descended to Baekdu Mountain. Baekdu Mountain is today part of North Korea
However, Gaecheonjeol is not celebrated and recognized at all, unlike South Korea.
Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea.
For ancient Korea, Hwanung (환웅/桓雄) and his son Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검/檀君王儉) are 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").
Tunku Abdul Rahman (8 February 1903 – 6 December 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. Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun V.T. Sambanthan are also considered as the main Founding Fathers of 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 founding father of ancient Burmese Kingdom of Pagan. General Aung San is the founding father 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 founding father 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 descendents 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.
Pakistan's founding father is Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who is hailed as Quaid-e-Azam or "Great Leader". Other prominent founders include the poet Allama Iqbal, believed to be the first person to propagate the idea of a state for India's Muslims and members of Pakistan's first Cabinet such as Liaquat Ali Khan, 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 founding father of Pakistan
José Protasio Mercado Rizal y Alonso Realonda or popularly known as José Rizal (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 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.
Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015) often referred to as the Father of Singapore or by the initials LKY, he was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades. He is also widely recognised as the founding father of modern Singapore.
D. S. Senanayake (20 October 1883 – 22 March 1952) is widely known as father of the nation. Sirimavo Bandaranaike (17 April 1916 – 10 October 2000) was the first female Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the modern world's first female head of government. William Gopallawa (17 September 1896 – 31 January 1981) was the first Constitutional President while J. R. Jayewardene (17 September 1906 – 1 November 1996) was the first Executive President. Chandrika Kumaratunga (29 June 1945 – Present) was the first female Executive President of the country.
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.
Hồ Chí Minh was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945–55) and president (1945–69) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) during the Vietnam War.
- 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.
Mammad Amin Rasulzade is the founding father of Azerbaijan. Mehemmed Emin Resulzade (Azerbaijani: Məhəmməd Əmin Axund Hacı Molla Ələkbər oğlu Rəsulzadə, Turkish: Mehmed Emin Resulzâde; 31 January 1884, Novkhana, near Baku — 6 March 1955, Ankara) 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!") has become the motto of the independence movement in Azerbaijan in the 20th century.
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.
Kubrat was the ruler of Old Great Bulgaria in 632. His son Asparukh migrated to the Balkans and established the First Bulgarian Empire in 681. Modern day Bulgaria is a direct successor of this state. Asparukh's brother Kotrag migrated north and founded Volga Bulgaria. Mythical rulers of Bulgaria exist before them, dating back as far as 3rd millennium BC.
- Franjo Tuđman, first President of the Republic of Croatia 1990-1999. Self-proclaimed "Father of the Nation".
Václav Havel was the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). The first president of the antecedent Czechoslovakia was nevertheless Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1918–1935). The Kingdom of Bohemia was formally established in 1198 by Přemysl Ottokar I.
It was King Athelstan (893/895-939 AD) 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 AD), who set in motion the unification of the English kingdoms and could also claim to be the nation's founder.
Clovis I united all the frankish tribes in Gaul and gave them a common catholic religion. Napoleon founded the French Empire. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, later known as Napoleon III is the first French President, elected 1848. Charles de Gaulle is a hero of the French resistance to Germany during WW2, and the first president of the 5th Republic.
King Pharnavaz I of Iberia (302–237 BC) was the first king of the united Georgian kingdom of Iberia. Bagrat III is considered as the first king of united Georgian Kingdom. Zviad Gamsakhurdia is the first president and founder of modern republic 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 "founding fathers" of modern Germany.
Rigas Feraios (1757–1798) was a Greek writer and revolutionary, an eminent figure of the Greek Enlightenment, remembered as a Greek national hero, the first victim of the uprising against the Ottoman Empire and a forerunner of the Greek War of Independence.
Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770–1843), (O Geros tou Morea or "The Elder of Morea") was a Greek field Marshal (archistrategos or Marshal Commander-in-Chief) and one of the leaders of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, Georgios Karaiskakis (1780 or 1782–1827) was a famous Greek klepht, armatolos, military commander, and a hero of the Greek War of Independence, Andreas Vokos Miaoulis (1768–1835) an admiral and politician who commanded Greek naval forces during the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829), Yannis Makriyannis was (1797–1864) a Greek merchant, military officer, politician and author, Alexander Ypsilantis (1792–1828), Demetrios Ypsilantis (1793–1832) and other prominent personalities of the Greek War of Independence.
Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776–1831), was a Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and later the first head of state of independent Greece recognized by many Greek historians as the Father of the Greek nation.
Eleftherios Venizelos (1864–1936), was an eminent Greek revolutionary, a prominent and illustrious statesman as well as a charismatic leader in the early 20th century,Prime Minister of Greece and served from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1932, he is credited with being "the maker of modern Greece", and he is still widely known as the Ethnarch.
Alexandros Papanastasiou (1876–1936), was a Greek politician, sociologist and Prime Minister, widely known as the Father of the Republic or Father of the Democracy.
Georgios Papandreou (1888–1968) was a Greek politician, the founder of the Papandreou political dynasty, often referred to affectionately as "ο Γέρος της δημοκρατίας" (o Géros tis dimokratías)—the old man of democracy.
According to Anonymus the fejedelem who made the Magyars settle into the Carpathian Basin in 896 A.D. 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.
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882), the Count di Cavour (1810–1861) and Giuseppe Mazzini (1805–1872) have been referred to as the founding fathers of the Kingdom of Italy. Vittorio Emanuele II was the first King of a united Italy.
As well respected statesmen in 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.
- 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.
Mieszko I (b. ca. 920/45 – d. 25 May 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Vladimír Mečiar was the main proponent of the Slovak independence in the year 1993. He has served as prime minister until 1998, when he narrowly lost the election.
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 founding fathers 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.
Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century were responsible for the unification of Spain, both coming from the noble House of Trastámara. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500–1558) was the first monarch of the Spanish Empire.
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 1248-1266.
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 founding fathers 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.
- Vladimir the Great or Volodymyr the Saint - the baptizer of the Kievan Rus'. Ukraine derives its identity from this early medieval state.
- Bohdan Khmelnytsky – (c. 1595 – 6 August 1657) was a hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate of Ukraine. He led an uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth magnates (1648–1654) which resulted in the creation of a Cossack state.
As the UK formed over many years, its founders did not live at the same time as each other. They include: 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 U.K. 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, M.P., 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.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, 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 (1919–22), initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues in Anatolia, resulted in the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923. He subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming the old Ottoman-Turkish state into a new secular republic.
Magnus Maximus (ca. 335–28 August 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".
- Josep Broz Tito, Marshal of Yugoslavia (1943–80)
- Rurik - Varangian prince and Prince of Novgorod beginning around the year 862 AD
- Oleg - Rurik's kinsman and successor; extended his realm from Novgorod south along 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 claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural heritage.)
- Ivan the Terrible - Grand Prince of Moscow (also Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev) from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death
- Peter the Great – Tsar from 1682, officially proclaimed establishment of the Russian Empire in 1721, following the Treaty of Nystad and himself its first emperor who instituted sweeping reforms and oversaw the transformation of Russia into a major European power, transformed the nation in the Western (previously Dutch) style, founder of Saint-Petersburg
- Vladimir Lenin - Officially one among many equal founders of the country, Lenin was, de facto, the paramount leader and founding father of the Soviet Union and the CPSU, the party that ruled it via one-party rule. He died soon after the country's founding and retained a special status of secular apotheosis for the rest of the country's history.
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.
Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467 or 1468–1520) commander of the first Portuguese fleet to arrive in South America. José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (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."
Bernardo O'Higgins (1778–1842) and José Miguel Carrera (1785–1821) are usually considered the founding fathers of Chile. Other people referred as founding fathers of Chile include Camilo Henríquez and Manuel Rodríguez (1785–1818).
Simón Bolívar, was founding father 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.
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; Sanchez on the $5 coin and on the now discontinued $5 bill; Mella on the $10 coin and on the also discontinued $10 bill.
Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley are considered[by whom?] to be the founding fathers of Jamaica. Alexander Bustamante is credited for his role as 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 Washington 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 founding fathers 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).
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 founding fathers: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.
Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) is considered to be the founding father 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.
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. Unfortunately, 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 James Cook, the Englishman who claimed Australia; Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales and founder of the first colony; and Sir Edmund Barton, the first Australian Prime Minister.
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.
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.
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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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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- James Minahan (1 January 2000). One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-313-30984-7.
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- Why did the Norwegian constitution of 1814 become a part of positive law in the nineteenth century?
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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 ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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- In the Steps of Generals José de San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins
- Statue of Venezuela's founding father unveiled in Tehran in presence of Chavez
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