carpetbaggers, epithet used in the South after the Civil War to describe Northerners who went to the South during Reconstruction to make money. Although regarded as transients because of the carpetbags in which they carried their possessions (hence the name carpetbaggers), most intended to settle in the South and take advantage of speculative and commercial opportunities there. With the support of the black vote the carpetbaggers played an important role in the Republican state governments. The corrupt activities of some made the term carpetbagger synonymous with any outsider who meddles in an area's political affairs for his own benefit.

See bibliography under Reconstruction.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Carpetbaggers: Selected full-text books and articles

The Day of the Carpetbagger: Republican Reconstruction in Mississippi By William C. Harris Louisiana State University Press, 1979
Texas under the Carpetbaggers By W. C. Nunn University of Texas Press, 1962
Constitutional Development in Alabama, 1798-1901: A Study in Politics, the Negro, and Sectionalism By Malcolm Cook McMillan University of North Carolina Press, 1955
Librarian's tip: Chap. VIII "The Reconstruction Convention and the Suffrage" and Chap. IX "General Provisions of the Reconstruction Constitution"
After Appomattox: How the South Won the War By Stetson Kennedy University Press of Florida, 1995
Librarian's tip: "Carpetbaggers" begins on p. 15 and "Carpetbaggers: 'I Represented the Freedmen's Bureau'" begins on p. 182
The South since 1865 By John Samuel Ezell Macmillan, 1963
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "The Radical Triumph"
The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865-1878 By Mark Wahlgren Summers University of North Carolina Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 13 "Carpetbagger Chronicles"
Hollywood's Image of the South: A Century of Southern Films By Larry Langman; David Ebner Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Reconstruction and the Carpetbaggers"
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