This dissertation used education to highlight local and global dimensions of nation building in Tanzania. It examines the process by which the late colonial and early postcolonial education officials in Tanzania experimented with and developed educational and nationalistic institutions as a means to interact with their populations and satisfy increasingly vocal demands for social services. Using oral histories as well as sources from the Tanzanian National Archive and the archives of American non-governmental organizations, this dissertation also highlights the fundamental role that non-elite actors, such as teachers, students, and low-level government officials, played in acting as intermediaries between elite politicians and the general population. These transitional figures reproduced the ideology of the nation--state at the local level, while also using global resources, newly-available through Cold War rivalries, that developed institutions and educational structures that reinforced the scope and legitimacy of the nation--state. Nationalist celebrations became a critical part of this interaction as did controversies regarding immoral and unproductive female citizens. In examining the development of educational and post-colonial nationalistic institutions, this project argues that local issues, national agendas, and global paradigms of authority worked collectively to reinforce the ideals of national citizenship and the pre-eminence of the nation--state, in the new postcolonial world.