Northerners who went to the South after the Civil War to take part in Reconstruction governments, when persons who had supported the Confederacy were not allowed to hold public office (see Fourteenth Amendment). Some of them arrived, according to legend, carrying only one carpetbag, which symbolized their lack of permanent interest in the place they pretended to serve.
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Example sentences from the Web for carpetbaggers
And you had the carpetbaggers and all that, but as occupations go, it wasn't so brutal.
Carpetbaggers already in situ to cash in on the wasted and exhausted city.
The other Federal departments were in similar difficulties, and at last women and "carpetbaggers" were appointed.The Sequel of Appomattox|Walter Lynwood Fleming
When I come along, the carpetbaggers were teaching and they knew their business.Slave Narratives: Arkansas Narratives|Work Projects Administration
Joe, soon after this, decided to stay in the carpetbaggers' city and take the agency of a large insurance company.Jiglets|Walter Jones
They were called the "carpetbaggers," because they usually carried their luggage in their hands.A Short History of the United States|Edward Channing
He scared de Yankees and Carpetbaggers and all sech folks as dem away from our country.Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves|Work Projects Administration