- U.S. History. a Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War and became active in Republican politics, especially so as to profiteer from the unsettled social and political conditions of the area during Reconstruction.
- a politician who takes up residence in a place and runs for office without having strong ties to the area.
- any opportunistic or exploitive outsider: Our bus company has served this town for years, but now the new one run by carpetbaggers from the city is stealing our business.
Origin of carpetbagger
Examples from the Web for carpetbagger
Bob Smith: unbalanced, inconstant, and even more of a carpetbagger than the other guy.Sen. Bob Smith: The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave
December 4, 2013
The two biggest hurdles executives entering politics face is being viewed as either a carpetbagger or egomaniac.Jeff Zucker for Senate?
May 5, 2010
He was told that he was a carpetbagger, but he desperately wanted to serve the people, as I do.My Night With Sean Penn
October 30, 2008
We'll hang the little Scalawag on the south side and the Carpetbagger on the north.The Sins of the Father
The charge of corruption laid at the door of the Negro carpetbagger governments is to a large extent true.
Generally they came two together, arm in arm, a carpetbagger and a negro in close confab.Two Wars: An Autobiography of General Samuel G. French
Samuel Gibbs French
But most Southerners preferred the rule of the army to the alternative reign of the carpetbagger, scalawag, and Negro.
The carpetbagger had found that he could control the Negro without the help of the scalawag.
- a politician who seeks public office in a locality where he has no real connections
- British a person who makes a short-term investment in a mutual savings or life-assurance organization in order to benefit from free shares issued following the organization's conversion to a public limited company
- US a Northern White who went to the South after the Civil War to profit from Reconstruction
Word Origin and History for carpetbagger
also carpet-bagger, 1868, American English, scornful appellation for Northerners who went South after the fall of the CSA seeking private gain or political advancement. The name is based on the image of men arriving with all their worldly goods in a big carpetbag. Sense later extended to any opportunist from out of the area.