James, who is studying a Work-Based Learning sports performance degree at Middlesex and has taken time off to train, claimed two bronze medals at last year's Euros, but won his maiden European title with a 15-11 victory.
Originally from Barnet, James relocated to San Francisco last November in order to train with some of the world's best fencers and increase his prospects of success at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
James Davis said: "It's absolutely amazing to be the first ever British European champion and 'make history'. It was a great event as there were large audiences and a lot of support. But there's no time to relax now as the world championships are coming up in July!"
Mel Parker, Head of Sport & Recreation at Middlesex said: "Everyone involved in student sport here at Middlesex University is delighted for James, this victory is well deserved as he's trained really hard. He's great at keeping in touch with us about his progress too and we wish him every success in the future and for Rio 2016."
James had booked his place in the final by defeating reigning champion Peter Joppich of Germany 15-8 at the semi-final stage. He was trailing 10-6 midway through the final, however, he fought back and was successful against seven-time European medallist Cheremisinov.