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He governed Tanganyika as Prime Minister from to and then as President from to , after which he led its successor state, Tanzania , as President from to Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist , he promoted a political philosophy known as Ujamaa.
In he returned to Tanganyika, married, and worked as a teacher. Influenced by the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi , Nyerere preached non-violent protest to achieve this aim. Negotiations with the British authorities resulted in Tanganyikan independence in In , Tanganyika became a republic, with Nyerere elected its first president.
His administration pursued decolonisation and the "Africanisation" of the civil service while promoting unity between indigenous Africans and the country's Asian and European minorities. He encouraged the formation of a one-party state and unsuccessfully pursued the Pan-Africanist formation of an East African Federation with Uganda and Kenya.
A mutiny within the army was suppressed with British assistance. Following the Zanzibar Revolution of , the island of Zanzibar was unified with Tanganyika to form Tanzania. After this, Nyerere placed a growing emphasis on national self-reliance and socialism. Although his socialism differed from that promoted by Marxism—Leninism , Tanzania developed close links with Mao Zedong 's Marxist—governed China.
In , Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration which outlined his vision of ujamaa. Banks and other major industries and companies were nationalised; education and healthcare were significantly expanded. Renewed emphasis was placed on agricultural development through the formation of communal farms, although these reforms hampered food production and left Tanzania dependent on foreign food aid. His government provided training and aid to anti-colonialist groups fighting white-minority rule throughout southern Africa and oversaw Tanzania's — war with Uganda which resulted in the overthrow of Ugandan President Idi Amin.
In , Nyerere stood down and was succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi , who reversed many of Nyerere's policies. He remained chair of Chama Cha Mapinduzi until , supporting a transition to a multi-party system , and later served as mediator in attempts to end the Burundian Civil War.
Nyerere was a controversial figure. Across Africa he gained widespread respect as an anti-colonialist and in power received praise for ensuring that, unlike many of its neighbours, Tanzania remained stable and unified in the decades following independence. His construction of the one-party state and use of detention without trial led to accusations of dictatorial governance, while he has also been blamed for economic mismanagement.
He is held in deep respect within Tanzania, where he is often referred to by the Swahili honorific Mwalimu "teacher" and described as the "Father of the Nation". These wives lived in various huts around Burito's cattle corral, in the centre of which was his roundhouse. The British colonial administration encouraged the education of chiefs' sons, believing that this would help to perpetuate the chieftain system and prevent the development of a separate educated indigenous elite who might challenge colonial governance.
While at the school he also underwent the Zanaki tooth filing ritual to have his upper-front teeth sharpened into triangular points. His academic excellence allowed him to gain a government scholarship to attend the elite Tabora Government School, a secondary school in Tabora. At the time they continued to live apart. In October , Nyerere completed his secondary education and decided to study at Makerere College in the Ugandan city of Kampala. In July , he wrote a letter to the Tanganyika Standard in which he discussed the ongoing Second World War and argued that capitalism was alien to Africa and that the continent should turn to "African socialism"; in his words, "the African is by nature a socialistic being".
On leaving Makerere, Nyerere returned home to Zanaki territory to build a house for his widowed mother, before spending his time reading and farming in Butiama. In Tabora, he intensified his political activities, joining the local branch of the TAA and becoming its treasurer.
Walsh convinced Nyerere to take the University of London 's matriculation examination, which the latter passed with second division in January In , Nyerere was one of only two black students from the British East African territories studying in Scotland. Nyerere gained many friends in Edinburgh,  and socialised with Nigerians and West Indians living in the city.
At TANU meetings, Nyerere insisted on the need for Tanganyikan independence, but maintained that the country's European and Asian minorities would not be ejected by an African-led independent government. In August , the United Nations had sent a mission to Tanganyika which subsequently published a report recommending a twenty to twenty-five year timetable for the colony's independence.
The government pressured Nyerere's employer to sack him because of his pro-independence activities. On his return from New York, Nyerere resigned from the school, in part because he did not wish his ongoing employment to cause trouble for the missionaries. Nyerere returned to Dar es Salaam in October In response, the government filed three counts of criminal libel. Twining announced that elections for a new legislative council would take place in early These would be organised around ten constituencies, each electing three members of the council: one indigenous African, one European, and one South Asian.
In his view, TANU should participate and seek to secure the majority of the indigenous African representatives to advance their political leverage. If they abstained, he argued, the UTP would win the elections, TANU would be forced to operate entirely outside of government, and it would delay the process of attaining independence.
He suggested that Tanganyika could delay its attainment of independence from the British Empire until neighbouring Kenya and Uganda were able to do the same. In his view, it would be much easier for the three countries to unite at the same point as independence than after it, for beyond that point their respective governments might feel that they were losing sovereignty through unification.
On 9 December , Tanganyika gained independence, an event marked by a ceremony at National Stadium. During Tanganyika's first year of independence, its government focused largely on domestic problems. Six months after independence, the government abolished the jobs and salaries of hereditary chiefs, whose positions conflicted with government officials and who were often regarded as too close to the colonial authorities.
Over the following year, several Britons accused of racism were deported; concerns were raised about the lack of due process. We are not going to suffer them now. Tumbo founded the People's Democratic Party , while Zuberi Mtemvu formed the African National Congress , which wanted a more racialist anti-colonial stance. He expressed the hope that the government would never have to use it, and noted that they were aware how it "could be a convenient tool in the hands of an unscrupulous government".
The government drew up plans to create a new constitution which would convert Tanganyika from a monarchy with the British Queen as its head of state into a republic with an elected President as head of state.
This President would be elected by the population, and they would then appoint a Vice President, who would preside over the National Assembly, Tanganyika's parliament. During the anti-colonial struggle, only indigenous Africans had been permitted to join, but Nyerere now stated that it should welcome white and Asian members.
On 9 December , a year after independence, Tanganyika became a republic. Kennedy and although they personally liked each other, he failed to convince Kennedy to toughen his stance on apartheid South Africa. The early years of Nyerere's presidency were preoccupied largely by African affairs. Nyerere endorsed the Pan-Africanist idea of unifying Africa as a single state, although he disagreed with the Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah 's view that this could be achieved quickly.
Instead, Nyerere stressed the idea of forming regional confederations as short-term steps towards the eventual unification of the continent. This, however, never materialised. Nyerere was concerned by developments in Zanzibar , a pair of islands off of Tanganyika's coast. He noted that it was "very vulnerable to outside influences", which could in turn impact Tanganyika. In January , Nyerere ended affirmative action hiring for the civil service.
Nyerere narrowly escaped, hiding in a Roman Catholic mission for two days. On 22 January, Nyerere came out of hiding; the next day he gave a press conference stating that Tanganyika's reputation had been damaged by the mutiny and that he would not call for military assistance from the UK.
On 25 January 60 British marine commandos were helicoptered into the city, where they landed next to the Colito Barracks; the mutineers soon surrendered. As the British marines left, he brought in the Nigerian Third Battalion to keep order. You could never consider it an army of the people. Following the Zanzibari Revolution, Abeid Karume declared himself President of a one-party state and began redistributing Arab-owned land among black African peasants.
In April he visited Karume; the following day they announced the political unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
An interim constitution for the "United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar" presented Nyerere as the country's president, with Karume as its first vice president and Rashidi Kawawa as its second vice president.
No one has ever intended that they should become simply the Republic's eighteenth region. Karume was erratic and unpredictable. Mainland authorities had assisted in the arrests, but—contrary to Nyerere's intentions—the arrested men were tried in secret and four of them secretly executed. In the September general election , a presidential vote took place across Tanzania, although parliamentary elections occurred only on the mainland and not on Zanzibar.
Those who receive that privilege therefore have a duty to repay the sacrifice which others have made. Nyerere spoke to the crowd in defence of the measure, and agreed to reduce government salaries, including his own. Although Western powers urged Nyerere not to accept support from China, then governed by Mao Zedong , in August Nyerere allowed seven Chinese instructors and four interpreters to work with his army for six months. In the early s, Nyerere had private telephone lines installed linking him to Kenyatta and Obote, although these were later eliminated in a cost-saving exercise.
Though three other African states followed, it put Nyerere at odds with most other African nationalists. At independence, Tanganyika had joined the British Commonwealth. When Smith's government unilaterally declared independence in November, Nyerere demanded the British take immediate action to stop them.
When the UK did not, in December Tanzania broke off diplomatic relations with them. Relations were also strained with the United States. In November , Kambona publicly announced the discovery of evidence of a U.
The evidence—which consisted of three photostat documents—was labelled a forgery by the U. Embassy and after Nyerere returned from a week at Lake Manyara he acknowledged that this was a possibility. How would the Jews take it?
The U. There, he presented its Committee with a new statement of party principles: the Arusha Declaration. The day after the declaration, the government announced the nationalisation of all Tanzanian banks, with compensation provided to their owners. Nyerere followed his declaration with a series of additional policy papers covering such areas as foreign policy and rural development. The first step was to convince farmers to move into a single village, with their crops planted nearby.
The second was to establish communal plots where these farmers would experiment working collectively. The third was to establish a communal farm. This forbade them from owning shares or holding directorates in private companies, receiving more than one salary, or owning any houses that they rented to others. The Tanzanian Parliament did not pass the bill into law, the first time that it had rejected legislation backed by Nyerere.