German immigration to the US without the 1848 revolution

From 1845 to 1854, some 2,900,000 immigrants landed in the United States, more than had come in the seven previous decades combined. Most of these immigrants were from Ireland and Germany. Most Americans vaguely familiar with this fact, when asked about the reasons for the massive increase in immigration from these countries, will say "well, with the Irish it's because of the potato famine and with the Germans it's because of the failure of the 1848 revolutions."

It now appears that in the case of Germany, this explanation is seriously defective. According to Tyler Anbinder, *Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850s*, pp. 7-8:

"Although they received less publicity than the Irish, nearly as many Germans emigrated to the United States during the mid-1800s. In fact, during the peak year of immigration, 1854, German emigration to the United States outpaced that from Ireland by two to one. Over-population played perhaps the most significant role in motivating Germans to emigrate. As land became more scarce and costly, many farmers chose to leave for the inexpensive, untaxed land that abounded in the New World. As in Ireland, industrialization and competition from England made it increasingly difficult for German artisans to earn a decent living. The growing unification of the German economy further aggravated the situation, as the removal of internal tolls and duties hurt artisans from the less industrially advanced sections of Germany in their efforts to compete with those from neighboring states (in Württemberg, for example, one in six weavers went bankrupt between 1840 and 1847). Incidental factors that contributed to Irish emigration, such as encouragement from earlier immigrants and cheaper transportation, also induced Germans to leave for America.

"As was the case with Ireland, German immigration to the United States grew to unprecedented levels in the decade ending in 1854. But while the potato famine caused the massive exodus from Ireland, the extraordinary growth in German immigration in the 1850s is more difficult to explain. Historians once attributed the increase to the revolutions of 1848. However, German emigration did not grow significantly from pre-revolutionary levels until 1852, long after authorities had quelled the uprisings. Furthermore, the sources of greatest emigration do not correspond to the areas of revolutionary unrest. Although the failure of the revolution did induce some well-known German radicals to emigrate, the preponderance of Germans emigrated for many of the same reasons as their Irish counterparts. The potato crop also failed in Germany in the late 1840s, and although potatoes did not dominate the German diet, food prices and poverty rose dramatically as a result. Massive unemployment exacerbated these problems, reaching an unprecedented 17 percent by the mid-1850s. Southwestern Germany suffered most from these problems, and, consequently, most of Germany's emigrants to the United States came from this region."… In short, most German emigration after 1848 (as before it) was for economic reasons.

So it appears that while either "no German revolution in 1848" or "a more successful German revolution in 1848" would have very significant consequences in other respects, they might make relatively little difference to short-term levels of German immigration to the US.
So it appears that while either "no German revolution in 1848" or "a more successful German revolution in 1848" would have very significant consequences in other respects, they might make relatively little difference to short-term levels of German immigration to the US.

And wasn't there also quite a bit of emigration from Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries, none of which had a revolution in 1848?

FTM, I understand that there was considerable British emigration in this period, not just Irish. Of course, many of these emigrants went to British possessions like Canada or Australia, but by no means all. Quite a few went to the US.

Iirc, when the future King Edward VII visited America in 1860, the crowds which greeted him included many British subjects. And so many of the early Mormons were British converts that some Americans suspected a Limey plot to introduce a Fifth Column into the good ol' USA. Maybe with black covered wagons instead of black helicopters?
German emigration was mainly economically motivated, but the chaos following '48 played a role in increasing the push factor. The actual number of political refugees was limioted to a few tens of thousands, many of whom joined established exile communities in Europe.

The question is: what happens instead of '48? The German economy is unlikely to break out in sudden full employment, so you'll probably still see large numbers of emigrants coming for a better life. If the revolution is averted through repression, many of OTL's men of 48 also might still come. If it is averted through compromise, they will stay home.

The USA would not lose much in the way of population, but the political leadership of the German community would look totally different. It might also acquire a different reputation, lacking the intellectual leaders that came as refugees. Men like Schwab or Hecker weren't starving, they wouldn't leave if they have a future at home.