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See also: carpet bagger


Alternative forms[edit]


carpetbag +‎ -er



carpetbagger (plural carpetbaggers)

  1. (politics, historical, chiefly US, offensive) A migrant from the Northern to the Southern States after the American Civil War of 1861–5, especially one who went South to gain political influence.
    • 2012, William A. Blair, Journal of the Civil War Era: Winter 2012 Issue, UNC Press Books, →ISBN, page 539:
      The carpetbagger remains one of the most enduring symbols of the Reconstruction era. Technically, a carpetbagger was simply a northerner who went South in the wake of the Civil War and took part in Republican Party politics. For most of its lifespan, however, the term has been an epithet, denoting a lowly, immoral northern opportunist, a demagogue who preyed on the defeated South, perverted sectional peace, and rose to power by deceiving African American voters.
  2. (derogatory, by extension) One who comes to a place or organisation with which they have no previous connection with the sole or primary aim of personal gain, especially political or financial gain.
    Though he lived and worked in Los Angeles for sixteen years, the candidate for Attorney General is no carpetbagger; he was born and raised in this state and graduated from the state university.
    He's just a carpetbagger who was surprised to find that Southerns are not like the cast of “The Dukes of Hazzard” or “Deliverance”.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 339:
      By the tenth century, out of the diversity of these Christianized Anglo-Saxon kingdoms emerged one of the most coherent political units in Europe, a single monarchy of England, with a precociously centralized government which eventually fell like a ripe plum into the grateful hands of Norman carpetbaggers in 1066.

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