This chapter explores the ways in which Rabindranath’s educational theory and practice at Santiniketan were shaped by the forces of nationalism, particularly the forms that it took during the 1903–1908 Swadeshi Movement, and leading up to Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation movement of the 1920s. It examines how the violent acts of terrorism and communal riots that occurred in 1907 caused Tagore to withdraw to Santiniketan and turn his attention to developing an inclusive, non-sectarian form of education that drew from both Indian tradition and international theory. The article details the way in which the historical development of Visva-Bharati paralleled Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation moment and provided an alternate way to encourage India’s independence through educational means and rural outreach.