List of national founding fathers

List of national founding fathers

Founding Fathers are persons instrumental in the establishment of an institution, usually a political institution, especially those connected to the origination of its ideals. In a national context, it is the establishment of a state.



Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) led the nation to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.Fact|date=July 2007


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. [ [ Joseph Roberts, Liberia's first President!] The African American Registry]


Sam Nujoma (born 1929) was named Namibia's "Founding Father of the Nation" after the indepedence in 1990 [ [ World Briefing | Africa: Namibia: Founding Father Steps Down] ]


Herbert Macaulay (1864-1946), Alvan Ikoku (1900-1971), Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996), Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987), Sir Ahmadu Bello (1910-1966), Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912-1966), Murtala Mohammed (1938-1976), Aminu Kano (1920-1983), Joseph Tarka (1932-1980) and 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

Sierra Leone

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.fact|date=November 2007

South Africa

Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677)
Nelson Mandela (1918- )


José de San Martín [ [ In the Steps of Generals José de San Martín and Bernardo O’Higgins] ] , Simón Bolívar [ [ Statue of Venezuela's founding father unveiled in Tehran in presence of Chavez] ] , Jose Antonio PaezFact|date=June 2007, Rafael UrdanetaFact|date=June 2007, Francisco de Paula Santander [ [ Bentham Ban Lifted] ] , Francisco de Miranda [ [ Francisco de Miranda and Andrés Bello lectures at The Bolívar Hall] ] have been referred to as the founding fathers of the northern countries of South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia).


José de San Martín (1778-1850) and Manuel Belgrano (1770-1820) are usually considered the founding fathers of Argentina.Fact|date=June 2007


José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838) is regarded as the "Patriarch of Independence" in Brazil. He was responsible to advise the so Prince Regent of Brazil, Pedro de Alcantara, about Portugal's intentions to downgrade Brazil to colonial status, after years the Portuguese American territory was already joint to the European metropolis as a united kingdom. This attitude convinced the Prince Regent to declare the independence of Brazil in September 7, 1822, becoming himself the new independent country's emperor, titled as Pedro I of Brazil (1798-1834). [ [ Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, José] ]


Canada has the "Fathers of Confederation" who attended the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences to establish the Canadian Confederation. [ [ 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 Enríquez and Manuel Rodríguez (1785-1818).Fact|date=June 2007

Dominican Republic

Juan Pablo Duarte (1813-1876), Francisco del Rosario Sánchez (1817-1861) and Matías Ramón Mella (1816-1864) are considered the "Padres de la Patria" or Fathers of the Country. Duarte is featured on the $1 coin; Sanchez on the $5 coin and bills; Mella on the $10 bill. [ [] ]

United States

Some authors draw a distinction between the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or participated in the Revolution, and the Framers, who drafted the United States Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation, in 1787. [ [ "Land and Liberty II: The Basics of Traditional American History,"] by David Warren Saxe, p.204] George Washington was the dominant figure. He was joined by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and after that, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and others. [Joseph J. Ellis; "Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams." (2001) p. 214.]

Asia - Pacific


Ahmad Shah Abdali (1723-1773) unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. [ [ CIA Factbook on Afghanistan] ] His mausoleum is in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he is fondly known as Ahmad Shah Baba ("Father of Afghanistan"). [ [ Nancy Dupree Nancy Hatch Dupree - An Historical Guide to Afghanistan (Chapter 16:Kandahar)] ]


Sir Henry Parkes (1815-1896) is 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 never got to see his plan come to fruition. [ [ Sir Henry Parkes (1815–1896)] ]


Mammed Amin Rasulzade is the founding father of Azerbaijan.Fact|date=June 2007


Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) is regarded as the "Father of the Nation" in Bangladesh. A charismatic politician and popularly called as "Bangabandhu" (friend of the Bengal), Newsweek magazine referred to him as the "poet of politics" when he was incarcerated by the Pakistani forces in 1971, the year of Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan.Fact|date=June 2007

Though most part of Mujib's political career featured a struggle for democracy and defiance against military rule in the State of Pakistan, he banned all opposition political activities and introduced a one party system (called BAKSAL-Bangladesh Farmers Workers Awami League) in the newly created state of Bangladesh.Fact|date=June 2007

In the mid-night of August 15, 1975, a group of disgruntled army officers brutally killed him along with most of his family members at his residence in Dhaka (see Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). His daughter Sheikh Hasina served as Bangladesh's Prime Minister between 1996-2001, and as leader of the opposition in the national Parliament during 1991-1996 and 2001-2006. In an opinion poll conducted by the BBC Radio in 2003, he was voted as the greatest Bangalee (a native of the Bengal) of all times.Fact|date=June 2007


General Aung San is the founding father of 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, 19th July 1947, Aung San, along with his cabinet ministers, was assassinated at the secretariat building in Rangoon.

Republic of China

Sun Yat-sen is revered as the "Father of the Country" (國父) in the Republic of China.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is referred to as the founding father of India. He was one of the top leaders of the Indian National Congress which struggled for the liberation of India from British rule. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), the first Prime Minister of India, is also considered a founding father [ [ Gandhi & Nehru] ] . It also refers to Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956), the architect of the Indian constitution, also an educationist, prominent political figure and India's first law minister. Indian constitution provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly. [ [ Bhimrao Ambedkar] ] .

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 [] . Ironically the Drafting Committee also included women, among its ranks.


Soekarno and Mohammed Hatta are the founding fathers of Indonesia. They were the one who proclaimed and made the state of Indonesia on 17 August 1945 (Indonesian Independence Day). [cite journal |title=Indonesia |author=H. J. Van Mook |authorlink=Hubertus Johannes van Mook |journal=Royal Institute of International Affairs |date=1949 |volume=25 |issue=3 |url= |pages=274–285; cite journal |title=Independence the Issue |journal=Far Eastern Survey |author=Charles Bidien |volume=14 |issue=24 |url=|pages=345–348 |date=5 December 1945 |doi=10.1525/as.1945.14.24.01p17062; cite book | last =Taylor | first =Jean Gelman | title =Indonesia: Peoples and History | publisher =Yale University Press | date =2003 | location = | pages =325 | id = ISBN 0-300-10518-5 ; Reid (1973), page 30]


Cyrus the Great : Persian Shāhanshāh (Emperor). He was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty.


Pakistan's founding father is Mahomed Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), an Indian Muslim Barrister, originally from the Indian National Congress and later the Muslim League, who fought for the rights of Muslim minority in India, is widely held to be the creator of Pakistan. Jinnah is referred to as Quaid-e-Azam or the "Great Leader".

Mr. Jinnah started his career as firmly a secular Indian nationalist and later on was reluctantly converted to the cause of Muslim nationalism through the efforts of Aga Khan III, martyred Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan and Poet Philosopher Allama Iqbal all of whom are also revered to a certain extent as founding fathers. Aga Khan was also the founding president of the All India Muslim League. Choudhary Rahmat Ali coined the term Pakistan and is considered the father of the word "Pakistan". Muslim modernist and reformist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Educational Movement, is sometimes referred to as the father of the Two-Nation Theory, the basic principle on which Pakistan was founded.


Jose Rizal did not live long enough to see the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain, or the subsequent defeat of the fledgling government by the United States, but he did play a prominent role in building a sense of national identity in the Philippines. A novelist and a critic, he wrote very influential books, so influential that he was exiled by the Spanish government to the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and when he left exile, executed, on December 30, 1896. During the Philippine Commonwealth, which was still under the rule of the United States, he was declared the official National Hero of the Philippines and subsequent to Philippine Independence laws were passed requiring courses on Rizal in all secondary schools and colleges.


One of the earliest people considered "father of Europe" is Benedict of Nursia — a 6th century Italian saint and the most important architect of Western monasticism.Woods, Thomas. "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization", p 5. (Washington, DC: Regenery, 2005); ISBN 0-89526-038-7.] The Benedictines, the followers of his rule, have also been called "Fathers of European civilization." Another 6th century monk was Columbanus, the Irish missionary who Robert Schuman considered a patron saint for all involved in the construction of a unified Europe. [cite web|url=|title=Remarks by President of Ireland, Mary McAleese at the Centre Culturel, Irlandais, Paris|accessdate=2007-07-15|date=2005-11-23|publisher=Áras an Uachtaráin] In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI said that "along with the Irishmen of his time", Columbanus "was aware of the cultural unity of Europe":

There are a number of men in modern times who have been considered founding fathers of European unity or, what is now, the European Union. These include Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967), Joseph Bech (1887-1975), [cite journal | author=Dumont, Patrick and Hirsh, Mario | title=Luxembourg | journal=European Journal of Political Research | year=2003 | volume=42 | issue=7-8 | pages=1021 | url= | doi=10.1111/j.0304-4130.2003.00129.x ] Winston Churchill (1874–1965), Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi (1894-1972), Alcide De Gasperi (1881-1954), Jacques Delors (born 1925), Sicco Mansholt (1908-1995), Jean Monnet (1888-1979), Lorenzo Natali, Robert Schuman (1886-1963), Mário Soares (born 1924), Paul-Henri Spaak (1899-1972), Altiero Spinelli (1907-1986), and Pierre Werner (1913-2002). [ [,PERE European Audio Visual Service - Founding Fathers] ] [ [,2144,2397555,00.html Founding Fathers: Europeans Behind the Union] ]


Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), the "Iron Chancellor", engineered the unification of the numerous states of Germany. Modern, democratic Germany was decisively shaped by the "Fathers of the Basic Law" in the 1948 Constitutional Convention at Herrenchiemsee and by the first Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.Fact|date=June 2007


The movement towards Irish Freedom had its roots in the ascent to the leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party by Isaac Butt. His passing of the mantle to the great orator and leader Charles Stewart Parnell led milataristic and constitutional nationalists to join forces in the pursuit of land redistribution first followed by the Home Rule campaigns.

The great Irishman John Redmond finally brought Home Rule through the Houses of Parliament only for it to be suspended on account of the 1914-1918 war. This fomented unrest among those who didn't serve in the war and led to an unsuccessful but symbolically important rising on Easter Monday 1916. The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was signed by Thomas J. Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P. H. Pearse, Éamonn Ceannt, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett.

In addition to the above, these figures also popularly get the status of Founding Father conferred upon them:- Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn Féin,- Michael Collins, guerilla leader and subsequent Minister for Finance,- WT Cosgrave, the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State- Eamon deVelara, founder of Fianna Fáil and subsequent Taoiseach.


the "Hero of the Two Worlds"] Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), Count Camillo Benso (1810-1861), Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) have been referred to as the founding fathers of the Kingdom of Italy. [ [ V. Creation of the Italian Kingdom] ] In some extent, also King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.


Usually the Riksforsamlingen at Eidsvoll in 1814, consisting of 112 men from most of the country, in Norway often referred to as "the Eidsvoll Fathers" or "the Fathers of the Constitution". [ [ Why did the Norwegian constitution of 1814 become a part of positive law in the nineteenth century?] ]


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 independece. Today he is often called "Vader des Vaderlands" which in English means, "Father of the Fatherland". [ [ Small Planet Named After Willem the Silent,] (in Dutch)]


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.Fact|date=June 2007

Swiss Confederation

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, Martin J. Munzinger, Daniel-Henri Druey, Friedrich Frey-Herosé, Wilhelm Matthias Naeff and Stefano Franscini.Fact|date=June 2007


Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first President. [ [ Mustapha Kemal Ataturk: still worshipped after all these years] ]


Pelagius of Asturias (699-737). First christian monarch during the Reconquista.

The Catholic Monarchs (15th century). Unification of Spain, both coming from the noble House of Trastámara.

Charles I of Spain (1500-1558). First monarch of the spanish realms and emperor of the Spanish Empire.

Don Adolfo Suárez (1932,-). Spain's first democratically elected prime minister after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, 73rd President of the Government of Spain, and a key figure in the country's transition to democracy.


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