The first ruler of a country. The person who founded the nation/empire/kingdom. The Pater Patriae. Sometimes, the actual founder of a kingdom is ShroudedInMyth (for example, RealLife China and Rome). Often this person is regarded as a larger-than-life figure, one against whom modern rulers cannot hope to measure up. It's not rare for this figure's name to have become the name of the country, or the title of its ruler in general.

Often seen as a statue of OurFounder. A common theme includes having the figure turn out to be a BrokenPedestal, where it turns out he was not so great as people [[HistoricalHeroUpgrade made him out to be]].

Might likely also be a [[TheConqueror conqueror]] or the leader of a [[TheMigration Migration]]. Or perhaps a RebelLeader.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'', Agnika Kaieru, the founder of Gjallarhorn, is revered as a legend for his role in stopping the Calamity War.
* Manga/{{Bleach}} provides both a heroic and villainous example.
** Shigekuni Yamamoto founded the shinigami training academy two thousand years ago. A thousand years after this, during the first war with the Quincies, he created the Gotei 13 and served as its captain-commander for the next thousand years. Initially, it was known as the Divisions, gaining its modern name some time later.
** Yhwach is TheEmperor of the Vandenreich and the progenitor of the Quincies. His blood flows through the veins of all those with Quincy heritage and is therefore the source of both their power and their organisation.
* Rudolf in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes''. Reinhard von Lohengramm counts too since he conquered the Free Planet Alliance and established New Empire.
* ''{{Manga/Naruto}}''
** The First Hokage, who founded Konoha and arguably the whole system of the hidden ninja villages.
** There's also [[PredecessorVillain Madara Uchiha]], the co-founder. Suffice it to say, they didn't get along.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', Emperor Spriggan is the founder and ruler of the Albareth Empire. He's TheDreaded in Ishgar despite their near total lack of knowledge concerning him [[spoiler:such as his true identity as the Black Mage Zeref]] since he conquered an entire continent and united its mage guilds into a military superpower.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' there are a few:
** In ''Recap/TintinTheBrokenEar'', there is a statue to General Olivaro, the "Liberator of San Theodoros", an obvious analogue to UsefulNotes/SimonBolivar, aka El Libertador.
** In ''Recap/TintinKingOttokarsSceptre'', there is Muskar I, the 12th-century founder of the kingdom of Syldavia, and 14th-century king Ottokar IV, the "true founder", without whose sceptre no king may reign.
** Marshal Kûrvi-Tasch is portrayed according to this trope in Bordurian propaganda, most notably in ''Recap/TintinTheCalculusAffair''.
* Cornelius Coot is the founder of WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck's hometown of Duckburg. In one story [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Scrooge McDuck]] and the Maharajah of Howduyustan compete at erecting ever-bigger statues to his memory.
* In ''ComicBook/StarWarsLegacy'': Jagged Fel is this to the Fel Empire.
* ''ComicBook/{{Shakara}}'': The former Shakara Federation was founded by Cinnibar Brenaka, the commander of the [[KnightTemplar Order of Avengers]]. A warrior who was MadeASlave and became a gladiator, he was committed to establishing order and justice throughout the universe after witnessing the evil and corruption that plagued other worlds firsthand.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In [[ The Chronicles of Utopia Volume II]] the protagonist Prometheus founds a new Empire based on reason and enlightenment after deposing the Mad Overking who had previously ruled the land.
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'':
** The Celestine Junta was (supposedly) founded by twins Celest and Silus [[{{Expy}} in much the same way]] as [[UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic Romulus and Remus]].
** Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Unicorns was forged by then Grand Archduke [=Æ=]thelric the Stern of Two Dozen Sons, forcing the lesser Lords to swear fealty to him to prevent open war amongst all the other Unicorn rulers.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Sheev Palpatine founded the Galactic Empire of ''Franchise/StarWars''.

* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has enough of them to warrant a [[Characters/ASongOfIceAndFireFoundersOfTheKingdoms dedicated character page]].
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** Elendil for Gondor and Arnor.
** Elros Tar-Minyatur for Númenor.
** Eorl the Young for Rohan.
* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' each of the chiefs of the three tribes of the Edain can be counted as this. Durin is the founder of Moria. And so on.
* [[Literature/LegendsOfDune Faykan Corrino I]] (born Faykan Butler) for the Old Empire of ''Franchise/{{Dune}}''. For non-government but still key entities, the Spacing Guild was founded by Norma Cenva, the first Navigator (who is still alive tends of thousands of years later), the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood was founded by Reverend Mother Raquella Berto-Anirul (an Atreides by blood), the Suk Medical School was founded by Dr. Mohandas Suk (Raquella's husband), and the Mentat School was founded by Headmaster Gilbertus Albans.
* The Kingdom of Valdemar from the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, was founded by, you guessed it, some guy named Baron Valdemar, a refugee (along with a good chunk of his Barony) from the Eastern Empire. He founded the titular Heralds as well, as a way to avoid {{Sketchy Successor}}s: the Monarch must be a Herald, and only [[IncorruptiblePurePureness the worthy]] are Chosen.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia: Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'': Frank the cab driver becomes Narnia's first king, codifying that Narnia will only flourish when a Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve is on the throne.
* Gaius Primus from ''Literature/CodexAlera''.
* ''Literature/TheBible'':
** Saul is the first king (BrokenPedestal version) of Israel, but ruled centuries after the nation's founding by {{God}} using the prophet Moses (to separate the nation from Egypt) and the military commander Joshua (to conquer the land for the nation to occupy).
** Babylon was founded by a hunter named Nimrod.
** Most of the Middle Eastern powers who antagonized Israel were founded by Abraham's sons.
** Edom was founded by Jacob's brother Esau.
* Kungas in the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' refounds the Kushan Empire, after spending his life soldiering.
* Hazel-rah in ''Literature/WatershipDown''.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': The Kingdom of Aquilia was named after a legendary hero with the same name. Calvaria was founded by the first member of its StateSec, Vanargand No-Father.
* Queen Eleanor in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap''.
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
** Dorca the Just has a claim to being the founder of Barrayar; although he wasn't the first Emperor, it was divided by warring nobles before him. Aral while not the founder of Barrayar was a great reformer and in a way the founder of the modern Barrayar. Also he not only helped remake Barrayar's laws but commanded the conquest of Komarr and the survey of Sergyar making him the founder of the multi-world Barrayaran Imperium.
** Leo Graf would be the founder of Quaddie Space.
* Harald Finehair (or Fairhair of Hairfair, depending on your translation) for Norway in ''Literature/{{Heimskringla}}''.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Subverted in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', when Pteppic meets up with the dreaded and revered founder of Djelibeybi, who fled persecution to establish a new empire in the valley of the Djel ... and discovers he's a grubby little con artist who'd fled ''prosecution'' for selling camels so old and decrepit, he'd had to equip them with plaster teeth.
** One-Sun-Mirror, the first Emperor of the Agatean Empire in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', who may or may not be the preincarnation of Cohen the Barbarian.
** The unnamed Romulus and Remus [[{{Expy}} Expies]] who founded Ankh-Morpork. Also, arguably, Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes, who killed the last king of Ankh-Morpork and ushered in a new age of, er, being oppressed by people who at least didn't claim the gods had given them the right to do it.
* In ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', Roger Winton serves as this for [[TheKingdom the Star Kingdom of Manticore]], having previously served as Chief Administrator of the colony and having the good sense and foresight to [[CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit invest money]] so that the colonists wouldn't be bankrupt. Given that the series takes places in the future where humanity has colonized the stars and there are varied and assorted governments, a few of these types have emerged. Two of the prime examples are [[BunnyEarsLawyer Gustav Anderman]], mercenary and founder of the Andermani Empire who believed he was the reincarnation of Frederick the Great; and Austin Grayson, founder of the planet which bears his name and chief saint of the religion he founded there.
* ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'' features King Roythebrune, who founded the human kingdom of Ciaró in the parallel world of Greywall’d. However, he’s only mentioned in [[ShowWithinAShow one narrative poem]] in the book.
* The ''Literature/ArciaChronicles'' feature Vol--a legendary founder of the first human kingdom. In the time frame of the series, his original realm is long gone, but nearly all ruling dynasties of [[ConstructedWorld Kertiana]] trace their lineage to Vol in one way or another. Being a "Voling" (Vol's descendant) is a huge deal in matters of throne succession.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''
** {{Myth/Merlin}}, the Arthurian one, is the founder of the White Council, the general collection of the strongest mages in the world. He wrote down the Seven Laws of Magic, which must be followed or violators will be killed. He was the student of Odin. To this day he remains so honored the head of the Council now inherits the title of Merlin.
** Vlad Trepes, aka Dracula, is the Founder of the Black Court of vampires. He [[spoiler:made them as a means to impress his father, a monster bound in human form, but the end result is considered a failure]].
** Kukulcan, the Red King of the Red Court vampires. He is an ancient beast from some thousands of years ago [[spoiler:whose human form is a short guy maybe 5'6"]]. He and his top vampires take up the name and titles of Mayan gods and rule much of Central and South America. It is from him all other Red Court vampires come from. And because of this [[spoiler:when Harry Dresden uses a blood-line curse on the King's great-grandsire, it travels back up to him and pretty much every other Red Court vampire in existence, and kills them]].
* In ''Literature/Magic20'', Brit is the builder of {{Atlantis}}. However, since all time travelers are, effectively, immortal, Brit is still present as one of the rulers of the city. Two of them, in fact. To distinguish them, they are called Brit the Elder and Brit the Younger, and neither of them [[IHatePastMe likes]] [[FutureMeScaresMe the other]]. In fact, from Brit the Younger's viewpoint, she hasn't built Atlantis yet. She is destined to do that in several decades by going back into the past, becoming Brit the Elder.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': 300 years before the series, Aegon I Targaryen - known as Aegon the Conqueror - and his sister-wives conquered and unified six of the Seven Kingdoms with the aid of dragons. Accepting and rewarding all who surrendered, they founded King's Landing and the Kingsguard, forged the Iron Throne, and are fondly remembered for the most part. Aegon's Landing even marks a YearZero in the chronology of Westeros.
* Kahless the Unforgettable for the [[Franchise/StarTrek Klingon Empire]].
** [[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Jonathan Archer]] is regarded by future historians as the founder of the [[TheFederation United Federation of Planets]].
** Surak, the philosopher on whose teachings Vulcan society is based, and Gint, the author of the [[ProudMerchantRace Ferengi]] Rules of Acquisition, hold similar status in their respective cultures.
** The [[spoiler:shapeshifters]] who established [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine The Dominion]] are literally referred to as the Founders most of the time.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has Rassilon and Omega as the [[BlatantLies long dead]] founders of Time Lord society. It seems every second Time Lord artifact is the Something of Rassilon, or the Floggle-Toggle of Omega. The ExpandedUniverse adds another mysterious founder simply called [[NoNameGiven The Other]].
* Dylan Hunt in Series/{{Andromeda}} is the founder of the new Systems Commonwealth.
* In ''Northern Exposure'' the town of Cicely celebrates a Founders' Day in honor of its founders [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Cicely]] and Gwendolyn.
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'' has Becca Bromheda, the first Commander of the Grounders. Despite having occurred less than a century in the past, much about how she came to rule is shrouded in myth for the Grounders.
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', the [[KnightTemplar Templars]] were founded by Admiral Constanza Stark (Dylan's former superior). Over the centuries, her soldiers found a way to copy her consciousness into the body of a loyal follower, so each commander was, in essence, the same person. The latest ([[spoiler:and final]]) instance is named [[Creator/MichaelIronside Constantine Stark]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Galifar I for the Kingdom of Galifar in ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}''. Before him was Karrn the Conqueror, founder of Karrnath, the kingdom that Galifar nearly a millennium later would use as the base for his conquest of Khorvaire and founding of Galifar, and the only one of the Five Nations of Galifar to keep its pre-Galifar name[[note]]formally by means of putting a son [[NamedAfterSomebodyFamous named Karrn]] as governor of the region[[/note]].
* Sigmar from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', founder of the Empire.
** Gilles Le Bretton founded the kingdom of Brettonia.
** The Elves were unified by Aenaerion the Defender and Caledor Dragontamer.
** The Dark Elves were created and still ruled by the Witch-King Malekith.
** Settra the Imperishable founded Khemri.
* The Emperor from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''.
** Lorgar from the same universe for the Chaos Legions. As well as Horus, to a much greater extent.
** Eldanesh, Lord of the Eldar.
** Commander Farsight, creator of the Farsight Enclaves.
* Cleon Zhunastu is founder of the Third Imperium in {{TabletopGame/Traveller}}.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens frequently in the ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'' games, as some royal titles start the game unclaimed, and characters who meet the right prerequisites can claim them, creating the kingdoms.
** With the Carlemagne dlc rulers of duke and king rank can now create a custom kingdom or empire respectively, if powerful and prestigeous enough. These titles will copy your primary titles name and coat of arms and will take on a similar color. This means that if you name your primary title after your ruler or his dynasty, your custom kingdom/empire will forever keep this name.
* King Calenhad Theirin for the kingdom of Ferelden in ''Franchise/DragonAge''.
** Emperor Kordillus Drakon I for the Orlesian Empire.
** Archon Darinius for the Tevinter Imperium
** Ashkari Koslun for the Qunari
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' has numerous examples, mainly from the rich {{Backstory}}.
** Ysgramor created the earliest empire of men in Tamriel, after he and his 500 companions traveled to Skyrim from Atmora. They slaughtered the [[ScrewYouElves native Falmer]] and expanded into High Rock and Morrowind at the height of the empire. The Nords of Skyrim still revere him to this day, as can been seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''.
** Lord Indoril Nerevar is treated as this by the Dunmer people as the great unificator of Morrowind. The [[PhysicalGod Tribunal]] rule in his name (even though [[TheRashomon they very likely may be]] responsible for his death) and he is revered as a saint in the Tribunal Temple. (His prophesied {{Reincarnation}} is a major plot point in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]''.)
** St. Alessia, the "Slave Queen," led a human uprising against their Ayleid elf masters and created the Alessian Empire, the first empire of men out of Cyrodiil.
** Reman I Cyrodiil founded the Reman empire, the second great empire of men out of Cyrodiil. (There is some debate as to whether the province was named after him, or if he took the name of the province.) He was the first to be recognized as a "Dragonborn" emperor and his empire conquered most of Tamriel, failing only to conquer the Dunmer (protected by their {{Physical God}}s) and the Altmer (protected by their power magics), though he did get the Altmer to join his empire peacefully by offering a treaty with exceptionally favorable terms to the Altmer.
** Tiber Septim founded the third empire out of Cyrodiil, and became the first to conquer all of Tamriel. He [[DeityOFHumanOrigin ascended]] to [[GodEmperor godhood]] after his death, becoming [[WarGod Talos]], the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Ninth Divine]].
* Aradesh for the New California Republic of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'' and the town of Shady Sands that it developed from.
** Edward "Caesar" Sallow and Joshua Graham are this for [[Videogame/FalloutNewVegas Caesar's Legion]].
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' 's Zelda is likely the first Queen of Hyrule.
* Zachary Comstock in VideoGame/BioShockInfinite, who built Columbia and is named Father Comstock as a religious ruler.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Thrall founded the city of Ogrimmar, and Sylvannas created the Forsaken.
* In ''Videogame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' ''IV'', the main characters of each campaign except for Elwin becomes the founder and ruler of their own kingdom. Tawni Balfour unites the various Chaos-aligned peoples to become Pirate Queen of the Seas. Emilia Nighthaven became the founder of Great Arcan when various refugees flocked to her after she became the first person to voice her frustration at their refugee status. Waerjak, taking the lessons of his mentor and foster father the Immortal Hero Tarnum to heart, unites what remains of the Barbarian tribes to rebuild the Barbarian Kingdom. Gauldoth Half-dead becomes the founder and ruler of Nekross, an unusual kingdom that balances Life and Death where humans, Kreegans, and the undead live together in relative harmony. Sir Lysander is the founder of Palaedra, a small kingdom formed by refugees from Erathia, though he only becomes its official king [[spoiler:after he discovers that he is a Gryphonheart by blood.]] Elwin on the other hand "merely" becomes the first true king of the Elven kingdom of Aranorn after the civil war in his campaign.
** King Rion Gryphonheart was the founder of the Kingdom of Erathia, which was built on the remains of the [[TheMagocracy Empire of Bracaduun]]. One of his greatest achievements was the defeat of the Barbarian leader Tarnum in CombatByChampion. Unknowingly, Rion also married one of Tarnum's sisters, starting the Gryphonheart line.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ravenmark}}'', the [[TheEmpire Empire of Estellion]] was founded by a priest named Phaestus, who objected to the feudal and corrupt Kingdom of Carsis's hereditary stratification, preaching meritocracy. Phaestus and Feronia, a peasant girl with powerful wind magic, lead a rebellion against the Carsis nobles and exile them to the impassable Cardani swamps. Phaestus then becomes the first ruler of the new Empire, henceforth known as Emperor Phaestus Corvius, with Feronia as his Empress. Meritocracy continues to be the Empire's core belief, and any commoner can earn life peerage (called Ravenhood) for him/herself and his/her children (but not grandchildren) through decades of loyal service (either military or administrative). Any family that manages to retain Ravenhood for 10 unbroken generations (very rare) becomes a noble House. In the sequel, Usun Motare, the first game's [[TheDragon Dragon]] becomes the first leader of a new nation called the Varishah Federation. His people see him as a symbol of resistance to the Empire, having been previously subjugated by it.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/KnightsOfBuenaVista'' is a CampaignComic covering ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''. Although that movie doesn't state how old Arendelle is, in [[ the first strip of the comic]] it's made clear that Mary and Adriana founded the kingdom with their {{player character}}s. After they die in a TotalPartyKill, those two play their characters' daughters, Elsa and Anna.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Not a country, but Jebediah Springfield. It's not a nation, but he fills the same kind of concept (heroic figure, founder of the place).
** Cousin-marrying Shelbyville Manhattan for Springfield's rival city (Shelbyville... not Manhattan).
* Dale Dimm, founder of Dimmsdale from ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''. Though many townspeople believed he was a myth, until Timmy went back through time and met him in-person.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Sir John A. [=MacDonald=], first Prime Minister of Canada and easily the Father of Confederation that people will remember the most. Essentially founded the Dominion of Canada as he led the push for confederacy. Less commonly remembered are that Queen Victoria was the first head of state for Canada (hence why Victoria Day is a national holiday) and Viscount Charles Monck was the first Governor-General.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, the first president of the United States. In fact, when the other founding fathers were designing the new governmental system, the office of president was specifically based upon the kind of leader that Washington was. So he was the first president, and the office of president was based on him.
** You can also count the first pioneer leaders to any given state. William Penn for Pennsylvania, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young for Utah, and so on.
* England is an interesting case. The very real UsefulNotes/AlfredTheGreat tends to get the credit as the historical founder of a kingdom of England, but has been comprehensively overshadowed by King Arthur, who may go one beyond being ShroudedInMyth by just being, well, mythical. Alfred has been written about by historians; Arthur has been the central character of more poems, novels and Hollywood films than you can shake a stick at.
** What's really funny is that by modern standards, King Arthur was not English but [[UsefulNotes/{{Wales}} Welsh]]. Also, his enemies are frequently identified in the Welsh legends as ''Saeson'', or Saxons, or in other words, Englishmen. The Welsh for their part tend to put more emphasis on [[ Owain Glyndwr]], who was more "OccupiersOutOfOurCountry" than Founder of the Nation, although Arthur is still quite important in Welsh legends.
** [[TheHouseOfNormandy William The Conqueror]] turned England from a Scandinavian to a western European country.
* UsefulNotes/SimonBolivar is this for several countries in South America. One of them, Bolivia, is named for the man.
* The legendary twins Romulus, and to a lesser extent Remus, according to Roman legend, were this for Rome. Lucius Junius Brutus was also widely revered for founding the Republic by kicking out the last King.
** It's more of a historical hindsight thing (since at the time he was [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial adamant that he hadn't done anything]]), but nowadays, UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} is generally viewed in this light today for UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire.
* The founder of Scotland is probably Kenneth [=McAlpin=], who was the first king of the Scots and the Picts, the two peoples who inhabited the country in those days.
** That being said, Scotsmen tend to think of UsefulNotes/RobertTheBruce as being the ''real'' founder - or, perhaps, re-founder - of the country. (Historically, William Wallace was seen as the "John the Baptist" to Bruce; nowadays, i.e. since ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', people tend to think of them as the two co-founders of the nation.)
* UsefulNotes/QinShiHuangdi, the first emperor of China, whose conquests ended the era of warring states and started the idea of a unified Chinese state. Modern China also has Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and founder of the Republic of China, who is revered in both [[RedChina the mainland]] and Taiwan. The People's Republic also venerates UsefulNotes/MaoZedong as their specific founder, while the Republic honors UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek. Each claims that their founder was the one who ''really'' followed Sun Yat-sen's example.
* Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan. Whether Jimmu was a person or a mythological figure is uncertain. The first emperor of Japan whose reign can be verified and assigned real dates is the 29th on the official list, Emperor Kinmei. 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga is widely seen as the man who laid the foundations for the Edo period, a time where Japan would enjoy nearly three centuries of peace and cultural and economic growth at the expense of technological develpoment and foreign relations.
* Kim Yushin united the three Korean kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo and Silla.
* Lycurgus of Sparta, the UrExample of [[DrillSergeantNasty Drill Sergeants Nasty]]. Guess [[TheSpartanWay which trope]] he invented?
** Most Greek cities had their own founding myths. Theseus might count for Athens, but a more historical example was Solon the Lawgiver. One version [[UnreliableNarrator among Athenians]] was that Athens topped them all because it was ''never'' founded. It was there eternally.
* UsefulNotes/{{Egypt}} has three:
** AncientEgypt had the Pharaoh Menes/Narmer, who united Upper and Lower Egypt and founded the first dynasty.
** UsefulNotes/ModernEgypt has Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian general who declared Egypt's independence from TheOttomanEmpire in the early 19th century and started attempting to modernize the state and economy.
** Modern Egypt also has UsefulNotes/GamalAbdelNasser, who overthrew Muhammad Ali's (by then corrupt) line and founded the Egyptian republic, and also went to great lengths to modernize the country.
* Iran has a number of these, but the most celebrated is UsefulNotes/CyrusTheGreat.
* William the Silent, leader of the Dutch rebelion against Spanish rule.
* Poland has Mieszko I, who converted the Polans to Christianity and turned the tribes into a state. However, his son Bolesław Chrobry("The Brave") was the first crowned king of Poland.
* Russia is [[RussianGuySuffersMost so often bloodily reformed into unrecognizable shapes]] that it has many.
** Prince Rurik is considered the founder of the pagan Kievan Rus.
** Prince Vladimir the Saint converted the Eastern Slavs to Christianity and started Kievan Rus proper.
** Ivan III the Great created the Muscovite Tsardom.
** UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat created the Russian Empire.
** UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin created the Soviet Union.
** [[TheScrappy Boris]] [[TheAlcoholic Yeltsin]] [[BreadEggsMilkSquick started]] TheNewRussia, much to the chagrin of many Russians.
* Khan Asparukh for the First Bulgarian Empire since 681 AD. The founder of Old Great Bulgaria (an ancient Bulgar kingdom which dissolved after the death of Asparukh's father) is ShroudedInMyth and is believed by some to have been UsefulNotes/AttilaTheHun.
** The brothers Asen and Peter are regarded as founders of the Second Bulgarian Empire after they [[RebelLeader led an uprising to liberate the nation from Byzantine conquest]].
** Not having participated in the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire and having been appointed Prince by way of an agreement between the Great Powers, Alexander Batenberg is [[SubvertedTrope not considered]] founder of the Third Bulgarian Kingrom, despite being its first monarch.
* Turkey had the original Osman, founder of the Ottoman dynasty, as well as Mehmed II (The Conqueror) who conquered Constantinople and established the Ottoman state as it would exist for the next five centuries. Most modern Turks, however, consider their founder to be Mostafa Kemal Attaturk, who led the Turks to defeat the Allied Powers at Gallipoli, then did so again to drive Allied occupiers out after the Treaty of Versailles divided Turkey between Britain, France, Italy, Armenia, and Greece. He then radically redefined the Turkish state, crafting a rigidly secular nation-state in place of the Ottoman Empire.
* Charlemagne, founder of the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, and [[ReallyGetsAround the ancestor of half the population of Western Europe]].
** He is also seen as a father of France and of (Western) Europe, although the French also see Clovis, the first Christian king of the Merovingian dynasty as founder of the kingdom.
*** The French ''always'' see Clovis as the founder of the kingdom. Charlemagne is only talked about so much as it involves somehow Europe and Germany, but in historiography he's primarily a king of the Franks (who managed to ''also'' be emperor).
* UsefulNotes/ShakaZulu united various Nguni tribes and nations into the Zulu Kingdom, founding the Zulu as a nation in the early 1800s.
* King Moshoeshoe of the Sotho, meanwhile, united many Sotho-Tswana peoples to defend against the Zulus and Afrikaners, forming Lesotho, one of the only African nations never to be conquered by colonial powers.
* Germany had 3.
** Otto the Great re-founded the German-only Holy Roman Empire (the First Reich).
** The Prussian "Iron Chancellor" UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck founded the German Empire (the Second Reich).
** ''UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler'' (the [[CanonDiscontinuity Third Reich]])
* Norway has Harald Fairhair, who according to the sagas conquered Norway after a woman named Gyda told him she would not marry him unless he did so. The reality is probably less romantic.
* Sweden has 3 examples, of which traditionaly focuses on Gustav Vasa; what with the date of his coronation (6 June 1523) being the date of the Swedish National Day. Historians and now civilians thanks to a [[Literature/ArnTheKnightTemplar extremely popular book-series]] remindning people that Sweden existed during the Medieval times, Birger Jarl has been gaining ground as the founder of Sweden.
** Erik Segersäll (roughly "the Victorious"), a 10th century Viking who was, if not the first, at least the earliest known, king to rule over all 3 of Sweden's historical Lands.
** Birger Magnusson of Bjälbo, who served as Jarl (Think Prime Minister) for first his brother-in-law King Erik and [[RegentForLife then his own son King Valdermar.]] His reforms and legislations turned Sweden from a loose collection of feuding clans into a Fedual Monarchy ruled by law. Known foremost as Birger Jarl since they had to retire the title as it had become to attached to his person.
*** To elaborate: Before Birger, any and all accusations could be waved away if you could A) '''Swear Yourself Free''': Find seven people that swore that you were innocent. Their testimony could only be over-ruled if the opposing side found seven people that swore that their guy wasn't a liar. And that would go on until one party ran out of men. B) '''Buy Yourself Free''': Pay the fine, since all crimes had a monetary value attached to it. or C) '''Threaten Yourself Free''': Scream that the person accusing you has insulted your honor and demand to prove your honor in single combat (saying "You take that back, or I will KILL YOU!!!").
*** Then Birger came up with the idea of '''"THE FOUR PEACES"'''
-->'''"Women's Peace"''' (You are not allowed to kidnap a high-born woman and then forcibly marry her in order to become her husband and then claim her inheritance)\\
'''"Church's Peace"''' (You can't kill a person while they are speaking in church [The Public Forum of Birger's day] or while they are on their way to or from church)\\
'''"Home's Peace"''' (You are not allowed to break into another person's home) and \\
'''"Public Square's Peace"''' (Same as Church only in the Market Place, The ''other'' Public Forum of the times).\\
Any person who has broken these Peaces has forsaken the right to swear or buy or threaten themself free from the crime since they have made a crime against something that is known as '''THE STATE''', not an individual, and the State will haunt them until they are caught.
** Gustav Vasa, who broke Sweden free from the Kalmar Union and managed to (by way of ruthless efficiency, pragmatic backstabbery and lots and lots of micromanagement) hammer the economically, politically and culturally retarded realm into a modern nation.
* Harald Bluetooth not only united Denmark, he also made it Christian and Conquered Norway, as he famously put it on a Runestone in Jellinge, Denmark.
* Hungary has two. Arpad, the 9th century prince who led the Magyar tribes as they founded the Hungarian kingdom, details of whose life are shrouded in myths (aside from being the ancestor of Hungary's first and longest-ruling dynasty); and St. Stephen (aka Szent Istvan), the first Christian king of Hungary.
** There is also Bela IV, referred to as "the second founder of the state" due to his activities at rebuilding and fortifying the country after it was sacked by Mongols in 1241, as well as (temporarily) restoring royal authority after his father Andrew II was forced to make compromises with the barons in Hungary's oldest surviving constitutional document.
* In social science this process is called ''ethnogenesis''. One common theory is that ethnicities tend to start when a successful bandit attracts a lot of followers eager for booty until there is a large enough group to reproduce themselves. In other words most tropers' ancestors were probably thieves. [[SarcasmMode Doesn't that make you feel good]]?
* UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan
* Italy has the duo of Victor Emmanuel II and Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour. Victor Emmanuel II was King of Sardinia, the country that, under his reign, conquered most of the rest of the Italian peninsula and became the Kingdom of Italy, and the Count of Cavour was the MagnificentBastard that made it possible (and in fact in the long run Italy would have been much better had he not died right after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy).
** Italy also has Alcide De Gasperi, Enrico De Nicola and Umberto II. De Gasperi was the Acting Head of State in the few weeks between the proclamation of the Republic and the election of the first president, De Nicola was said first President of the Republic, and Umberto II, last king of Italy, deserves honorable mention for accepting the results of the constitutional referendum that deposed him and not using the many irregularities (there were allegations of frauds, it was known that both leftist extremists and fascists had made pressures on known monarchists, and the government had jumped the gun and proclaimed the Republic before the results were confirmed) to try and stay in power, and in fact personally prevented the start of a civil war between Republicans and Monarchists.