James H. Broussard, professor of history at Lebanon Valley College, died peacefully at home from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, on August 10, 2020. He was born in Houston on May 6, 1941, to Charles Hugh and Ethel Rollins Broussard. In 1959, he graduated from Bellaire High School, where he participated in R.O.T.C., debate and student government. He majored in history at Harvard College, receiving an A.B. degree in 1963. While there, he was a member of R.O.T.C., the debate team, and the Young Republicans. He attended graduate school in history at Duke University and received his doctoral degree in 1968.
From 1968 to 1970, Dr. Broussard performed his active-duty military service in the Army Adjutant General’s Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, reaching the rank of captain. Subsequently, he served as a reserve officer in the Office of the Chief of Military History. He taught American history at Clarkson College of Technology, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State), served as the historian of the Indiana state legislature, and returned to teaching at Ball State University and the University of Delaware. In 1983, he was appointed chairman of the history and political science department at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA. His publications include The Southern Federalists, 1800-1816, and Ronald Reagan, Champion of Conservatism, as well as scholarly articles and book reviews.
In the late 1970s, Dr. Broussard began working to start a historical society focused on the early national period of American history, which he thought a neglected field. He founded the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), which is now a thriving and respected part of the historical profession. In recent years, he came to view political history also as a neglected field, and at the time of his death was engaged in establishing the Center for Political History, based at Lebanon Valley College.
In 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey proposed a tax plan which required a constitutional amendment permitting different categories of people to be taxed at different rates. Dr. Broussard believed this would not only raise taxes but would do it in an unfair manner. He formed the group Citizens Against Higher Taxes (CAHT) and campaigned against the amendment across Pennsylvania. It was defeated by a margin of three to one, the biggest defeat of an amendment in the history of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Broussard was a member of the Lebanon Country Club, the Steitz Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous historical societies. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; their son, David Broussard, and David’s wife, Sophie, and their children Elsa Rose and Samuel, of Atlanta; his brother, Thomas R. Broussard, of New York City; his sister, Nancy Leonard, of Kentucky; his sister, Dorothy Bell, of New Mexico; one niece and three nephews. Arrangements for services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Center for American Political History at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, 17003.
Online contributions may be made here: https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/904/donations/new?donation_type=general.
Please choose the designation: In Memory of Jim Broussard: Center for American Political History.