noun \-ˌba-gər\

: 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

:  a Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments
:  outsider; especially :  a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics
car·pet·bag·gery \-ˌba-g(ə-)rē\ noun


from their carrying all their belongings in carpetbags
First Known Use: 1868

Other History Terms

agonistic, enceinte, fief, historiography, paladin



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Epithet used during the Reconstruction period (1865–77) to describe a Northerner in the South seeking private gain. The word referred to an unwelcome outsider arriving with nothing more than his belongings packed in a satchel or carpetbag. Many carpetbaggers were involved in corrupt financial schemes, but others helped rebuild the economy in the South and participated in educational and social reform.


Next Word in the Dictionary: carpetbaggism
Previous Word in the Dictionary: carpetbag (adjective)
All Words Near: carpetbagger

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