Nicholas Jacobs

Nick Jacobs
 External Website


Gibson Hall, 1540 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22904


American Politics


The President and the States: The Transformation of America’s Compound Republic and the Prospects for Non-Centralized Government


Sidney Milkis (co-chair); James Ceaser (co-chair); James Savage; Lynn Sanders


BA, University of Mary Washington

Current Placement

Faculty Fellow in Government
Colby College

Placement Year



FIELD: American Political Development, American Political Thought

RESEARCH INTERESTS: My research focuses on the historical development of the American presidency. It is motivated by the fact that extant accounts of presidential history often neglect the set of <i>vertical</i> relationships between local, state, and national actors that structure and motivate presidential politics. My work therefore concerns the president in the federal order, and seeks to explain how federalism has constrained and expanded opportunities for presidents to carry out their political goals. Additionally, I study developments in presidential rhetoric and political theory on the nature of decentralized governance and constitutional leadership – especially ideational developments during the Progressive Era. For example, my largest project in this area argues that Woodrow Wilson was heavily influenced by the partisan and political thought of Edmund Burke, and that Wilson’s critique of the American Constitution is an attempt to build “conservative” principles into a post-Civil War federal order.