Simple Definition of carpetbagger
: a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War to make money
: a political candidate who runs for office in a place where he or she has lived only for a short time
Full Definition of carpetbagger
1 : a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments
2 : outsider; especially : a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics
Origin of carpetbagger
from their carrying all their belongings in carpetbags
First Known Use: 1868
Learn More about carpetbagger
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "carpetbagger"
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