The Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a person considered the driving force behind the establishment of a country, state, or nation. (plural ), also seen as , was a Roman honorific meaning the "Father of the Fatherland", bestowed by the Senate on heroes, and later on emperors. In monarchies, the monarch was often considered the "father/mother of the nation" or as a patriarch to guide his family. This concept is expressed in the Divine Right espoused in some monarchies, while in others it is codified into constitutional law as in Spain, where the monarch is considered the personification and embodiment, the symbol of the unity and permanence of the nation. In Thailand, the monarch is given the same recognition, and demonstrated loyalty is enforced with severe criminal statutes. Many dictators bestow titles upon themselves, which rarely survive the end of their regime. Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo's titles included "father of the nation", "older brother", and "Guide of the People". Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire's included "Father of the nation", "the Guide", "the Messiah", "dajsh, "the Leopard", and "the Sun-President". In postcolonial Africa, "father of the nation" was a title used by many leaders both to refer to their role in the independence movement as a source of legitimacy, and to use paternalist symbolism as a source of continued popularity. On Joseph Stalin's seventieth birthday in 1949, he was bestowed with the title "Father of Nations" for his establishment of "people's democracies" in countries occupied by the USSR after World War II. The title "Father of the Nation" is sometimes politically contested. The 1972 Constitution of Bangladesh declared Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be "father of the nation". The BNP government removed this in 2004, to the protests of the opposition Awami League, led by Rahman's daughter Sheikh Hasina. A motion in the Parliament of Slovakia to proclaim controversial pre-war leader Andrej Hlinka "father of the nation" barely failed in September 2007.


The following people are still often called the "Father" of their respective nations. Highlighted names indicate people who are still living.

See also

*Family as a model for the state *Fathers of Confederation *Founding fathers of the European Union *Founding Fathers of the United States *List of national founders *Pater Patriae *Victory title


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