William J. Bouwsma

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William James Bouwsma
Born(1923-11-22)November 22, 1923
DiedMarch 2, 2004(2004-03-02) (aged 80)
OccupationProfessor at Berkeley
Known forSather Professor of History Emeritus

William James Bouwsma (November 22, 1923 – March 2, 2004) was an American scholar and historian of the European Renaissance. He was Sather Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California Berkeley and president of the American Historical Association (AHA) in 1978.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan of Dutch descent, he was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1943. Following three years in the Air Force he returned to Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. in 1950.

Academic career[edit]

Bouwsma taught at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana until 1957 when he accepted a position in the History Department at U.C. Berkeley. After teaching for two years at Harvard (1969–71), he returned to U.C. Berkeley as Chairman of the History Department, serving in this capacity from 1966 to 1967, and from 1981 to 1983. He was chancellor for academic affairs from 1967 to 1969.[1][2][3]


  • "The Politics of Commynes," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 23, No. 4, December 1951
  • Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter Reformation (University of California Press, 1968)
  • John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait (Oxford University Press, 1988)
  • "Eclipse of the Renaissance," The American Historical Review Vol. 103, No. 1, February 1998
  • The Waning of the Renaissance, 1550-1640 (Yale University Press, 2000)


  1. ^ "William J. Bouwsma". University of California. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  2. ^ "William J. Bouwsma". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  3. ^ "William J. Bouwsma". Perspectives. Historians.org. September 2004. Retrieved 2010-05-22.