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The first part seems a little embittered and anti-Northerner

As a rejoinder: The term "carpetbagger" is anti-Northerner by its very existence. It was created by Southerners to disparage Northerners who did move south to take advantage (in the neutral sense) of the Reconstruction-era political situation.

The article makes use of the external point of view ("perceived by Southerners") and certainly doesn't seem "bitter" to me. The actual diction itself might leave a little to be desired - it reads a bit like an 8th-grader's book report on the term - but I don't see the un-neutral aspect of term.

Seems pretty neutral to me Rrreese 10:39, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have noticed biased terms and phrases throughout this article. Regardless of one's point of view, the article does not fit the neutrality standards of the encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

should be two articles[edit]

This should be two articles: one on the history of the term; the other on Republicans in the South, 1865-1876. The implication that carpetbagger is a fair description of Tourgée or Morgan (in the same sense it was used of Alan Keyes, for example) is unavoidably POV Septentrionalis 22:45, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

the term was first used...[edit]

Undoubtedly the term was first used as an insult, but many carpetbaggers, including Tourgee, embraced it (Tourgee once said that Jesus Christ was a carpetbagger), and we are now stuck with it. What else does one call "Northern Republicans living in the South during Reconstruction"? An analogy might be to the members of the Industrial Workers of the World. "Wobbly" was a term someone else gave them; it is now accepted by virtually everyone. I believe "Mormon" has a similar history.

Thanks, I think you have found a fix. Septentrionalis 22:47, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

As a substantive matter, this article largely fails to address carpetbaggers in popular culture. Villainous-looking carpetbaggers make an appearance in the film version of GONE WITH THE WIND, for example.

Please sign with 4 ~'s, even if you don't have an account; it makes discussion easier to follow. Septentrionalis 22:47, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

I seem to remember the origin of carpetbaggers from my high school history class. A carpetbagger was a travelling con artist who bought land deeds from Southern blacks. The carpetbagger kept the deeds in his bag made of carpet. When the Civil War ended, freed blacks (black soldiers?) were given land each (often plantation land) as payment for their service in the army, possibly, or as reparations (along with a donkey/mule?). These free blacks became poor because they couldn't find much work. So the blacks sold their land deeds to the carpet baggers, who travelled from place to place buying deeds, most often below what the land was worth. The money that the blacks received was soon spent (often on liquor), and the landless blacks fell into poverty. The blacks could have supported themselves by growing food on their land, if they had not sold the land. The carpet baggers resold the land to white land owners at a huge profit. This is why the carpet baggers had such a bad reputation. They became the stereotype for the grinning saleman/conman, who dissappears when his game is discovered. I don't remember any mention that the carpetbaggers were Northern Republicans nor Southern Democrats. Oddly, the fictional British nanny Mary Poppins had a carpet bag. The carpet bag may reperesent any traveller, as Mary Poppins was. (talk) 02:49, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


I'm done with this article, though the article itself is a bit short, I think. The "Carpetbaggers in Fiction" section should probably be "Carpetbaggers in Popular Culture." Such a heading could include information about how carpetbaggers have been portrayed in school history textbooks, as well as the fact that the OSS used the codename "Carpetbagger" for secret missions using modified B-24's (which were also called "carpetbaggers") to aid local resistance groups. I know relatively little about this, and may have a few of the facts wrong, but the codename itself suggests, perhaps, that at least a few people living in the mid-twentieth century had a favorable impression of carpetbaggers.--dogcanteen

Citations needed[edit]

The basic issue with this article is that it violates central tenets of Wikipedia: verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research.

Not one alleged fact in this article is sourced. Historiography is crucial for the credibility of this article. A brief bibliography does not substitute for sourcing within the article.

Wikipedia has standards. They are not being enforced here. This is not a whim. It is policy. This page will be flagged for the absence of specific citations. Citing sources will be a service to readers, especially student readers who will know that we enforce policy against sloppy research techniques. Skywriter 02:28, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


After 1960 the neoabolitionist school emphasized their moral courage.

Foner et al. does a lot more than emphasize moral courage, and so I am taking it out until a more complete explanation is available. Skywriter 16:13, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

10,000-15,000 Confderate disenfranchised[edit]

To claim that all of these were replaced by Yanks is misleading.

Usage of this figure should be cited, and should be qualified that accurate figure is not known. Further, northerners did not fill all of the jobs in southern government. Many if not most were filled by other Southerners including blacks and whites native to the region. Skywriter 16:39, 25 June 2006 (UTC)


Why is Furbush being called a carpetbagger(definition: Yankee). This article says Furbush was born in Kentucky. Is there a citation for this material? Thanks. Skywriter 06:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Historian Wintory calls Furbrush (in the title): "African-American Carpetbagger" .. Note that Wintory himself helped edit this section. Rjensen 07:02, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Is this an argument in favor of independent research on Wikipedia?
Your response fails to address the point that was raised. Furbush is a native of the South. Why is he being called a carpetbagger? Either the book title is in error or the definition of carpetbagger on this page is inaccurate.

That some people were falsely labeled by careless historians who were POV-pushing is precisely the point of John Hope Franklin and other historiographers. Skywriter 17:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Furbrush was from Ohio, and that makes him a carpetbagger (Kentucky where he was a small child of course was a Union state too). The fact he had been to Liberia shows he had travelled widely. The section is based on a major article in a scholarly journal, which very explictly says he was a Carpetbagger. But there is an interesting point: what about someone who moves from South Carolina to Texas. I supposethat person was called a scalawag. Rjensen 17:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Furbush was born in Kentucky, but several sources say he received his education in Ohio (see my Ark. Historical Quarterly article). I haven't found any other connections to Kentucky except that he was born there. It appears that by the time he was an adult he was living in Ohio and working as a photographer--and taking pics of Union soldiers and local women. I concluded that he had strong Northern connections--he established a family there...has children buried there. How do you classify a former slave from a non-Confederate state, who was educated in the North and travels from there to a Confederate state to establish a business and fill political offices? --Bwintor 18:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Arkansas additions[edit]

I added links to an entry I wrote for the Encyc. of Ark. History & Culture on Arkansas carpetbagger D. P. Upham, as well as a link to Ark's carpetbagger Gov., Powell Clayton.--Bwintor 16:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Figures if they ovoted for tahat communist who married a yankee!(Lihaas (talk) 06:53, 9 January 2011 (UTC)).

incorrect Reconstruction dats[edit]

Our first sentence here claims that Reconstruction started in 1865. As any serious historian notes, Reconstruction started at least in 1863 with Lincoln's 10% plan and 1864's subsequent Wade-Davis bill. These two examples clearly demonstrate that major Civil War era politicians were considering plans for Reconstruction during the war. One could even argue that Reconstruction started in 1861 with the Sea Isles experiments off South Carolina. At any rate, to mark the start of Reconstruction from the end of the Civil War is largely off base. I'm not going to change the date until we at least have some discussion about it, but this needs to be corrected. 05:07, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Barak Obama Bin Laden ?? Who the hell is that?

I'm not very sure if the current first sentence "In United States history, carpetbaggers were fat lesbian Northerners..." is absolutely accurate. Later in the article, at least some of them are mentioned as businessmen, which seems to outrule the lesbism. Cut the f.l. part out. --Oop 00:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Never in my life have I seen Reconstruction's beginnings as being dated earlier than 1865. Given the nature of war and the meaning of the term "Reconstruction" itself, it is fairly obvious why Reconstruction is not dated earlier than 1865. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 9 June 2011 (UTC)


Hello, If you know anything of this topic please write it down. This page had been vandalized and if you can be of service that would be much obliged. Thank you, MR.X —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

To say that this article reads like an 8th grade book report is to insult 8th graders. This article implies that most of the "carpetbaggers" were simply going south for selfless reasons. That's like saying the Iraq occupation is for nothing but "noble" causes. Like most of what's on Wikipedia, its Pop Culture, Revisionist History. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

And perhaps you could enlighten us to the "real" reasons of the Iraqi occupation. In order to be more ridiculously cliched, you should have written this: That's like saying the Iraq Occupation is for something else other than oil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

The Human Interest Library[edit]

On page 290 of the chapter "Reconstruction and Expansion" of "The Human Interest Library, vol 3, "Our Country in Romance," it says that carpet-baggers were the ku klux klan. Or were called as such by the Southerners. It describes the KKK as a secret society to "protect" whites from Negroes who fight against whites back then; it does not say this in support of the KKK, as it originally describes them disparagingly.

This is totally wrong. The carpetbaggers and the KKK were on opposite sides and struggled against each other. I'm not saying the carpetbaggers were perfect but they were working for equal rights for the blacks while the KKK was trying to suppress the black people. Jaque Hammer (talk) 19:05, 3 January 2011 (UTC)


The article says this term was given to "opportunistic" northerners who moved to the South. But was it given only to people who were opportunistic or to all "invading" northerners? Were there not northerners who moved south with good intentions to help in the rebuilding? I'm concerned the article gives the impression that everyone who moved south was a carpetbagger and that all carpetbaggers were sleazy opportunists. Is that fair and accurate? Freakshownerd (talk) 18:06, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

POV problems[edit]

The article has had longstanding, numerous POV problems - from tone, lack of adequate citations, choice of quotes and facts, from the lede and throughout. Yes, carpetbagger was a derogatory term used by Southerners bitter about Northerners taking positions of power and finding ways to make money after the war, but the article gives only a partial account of some of the problems and the context. It starts with a definition, but most of the content appears to argue that allegations of corruption (and carpetbagger as a negative term) were justified. Even then, most of the citations are inadequate, as they do not provide page numbers so that reader can check the original text. Facts and quotes have been selected from one side of the controversy, and the article relies too much on anecdotal quotes, rather than factual material. Was there corruption? No doubt, but that is not unusual in a postwar environment (or during war, as some of the scandals in Iraq under Bush made clear.)Parkwells (talk) 20:40, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

WP:Bold change waht you think, on reverts we can discuss the specifics.(Lihaas (talk) 06:38, 9 January 2011 (UTC)).
The section on the modern usage of carpetbaggers is a biased joke. More obvious examples, such as Hillary Clinton, who was being called a carpetbagger from the very first day she announced for her Senate candidacy, are not included, yet two members of the Bush family are mentioned(without even a whiff of a source) even though they had lived in their respective states for years. Seriously, do the people who write these supposedly encyclopedic entries ever realize how biased they are? A whole hell of a lot of the articles concerning politics on Wikipedia are so biased it almost rises to the level of parody. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
If you google "Hillary Clinton Carpetbagger" you get an enormous number of sites listed. The first page has about a half-dozen from the NY Times alone. Until she is placed in this entry as a modern day example of a carpetbagger, I am removing the Bushes.

Jay Rockefeller[edit]

I have again [removed an extensive section on Rockefeller. This time, there was a source (Dr. Allen H. Loughry II, Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide, McClain Printing Company. 2006, pg 160). However, the only use of the term "carpetbagger" in that source occurs on page 77 (not page 160). In context, the usage is not referring to Rockefeller as a carpetbagger, rather it is a quote from Justice Warren McGraw referring to "preventing the abuses and self-dealing of the 'carpetbaggers' of the Reconstruction period" in reference to WV's 1872 constitution. Rockefeller was born in 1937. The quote has nothing to do with him. This issue falls under our policy on biographies of living persons. To refer to Rockefeller as a "carpetbagger" here, we would need {WP:RS|reliable sources]] referring to him as such. As an alternative, if we had a reliable source quoting someone quite significant or notable calling him a "carpetbagger", we might find a place for the claim in Jay Rockefeller. - SummerPhD (talk) 03:51, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Australian Usage?[edit]

Seems a bit strage to me, as an Australian i have never heard the term used in this context. I dont think it should be inlcuded simply because one person happened to use it in an article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

"Parachute candidate"[edit]

Greetings, everyone.

Parachute candidate has been redirected to Carpetbagger since 3 January 2011. There are also roughly 20 other articles that currently use the term. The explanation for the term, however, was removed from the "Modern use" section of the Carpetbagger article with this edit on 16 June 2011. Please understand that I'm just providing context; I'm not in any way implying that anyone has done anything wrong, intentionally or otherwise. I'm unfamiliar with the term so, for all I know, the redirect and removal were probably legitimate actions.

Here's the text that used to be in the Parachute candidate article:

A parachute candidate, also known as a “carpetbagger” in the United States, is a pejorative term for an election candidate who does not live in and has little connection to the area he or she is running to represent. The allegation is thus that the candidate is being “parachuted in” for the job by a desperate political party that has no reliable talent indigenous to the district or state or that the party (or the candidate himself/herself) wishes to give a candidate an easier election than would happen in one's own home area. For example, in a 2000 election for U.S. Senator in New York, Democrat Hillary Clinton was accused of carpetbagging New York. Similarly, in the 2004 Illinois Senate election, Alan Keyes of Maryland ran on the Republican ticket with similar accusations.

And here's the text that used to be in the Carpetbagger article:

Carpetbagger is often used to describe a politician who runs for office in a place with which he or she previously had no connection. These are sometimes also called parachute candidates,[by whom?] an expression also used the same way in Canada and the United Kingdom.[original research?]

Googling news articles, I find uses of the term across the English-speaking world, with the exception of America, from Canada and Borneo to Ireland and India. Here are just a few examples:

Should we:

  1. leave everything just as it is?
  2. add some form of the term back into the Carpetbagger article?
  3. remove the redirect and restore Parachute candidate as its own article?
  4. regard this term as one that's specific to certain varieties of English, and gloss the 20-odd references occurrences?
  5. treat it as slang and, per WP:TONE, eradicate it completely from Wikipedia?
  6. do something else?

My personal inclination is towards the option of adding it back into the Carpetbagger article but, again, since the term is unfamiliar to me, I'd like to get some other editors' opinions, please.

Cheers! Bgpaulus <small-caps>(WORDS & DEEDS)</small-caps> 18:38, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. I think that since parachute candidate redirects to this article, there should be more mention of that term in this article (that would be option 2). Alternatively, option 3, restoring the parachute candidate article may be worth exploring, but I'm not sure how complete that article was before it was redirected.
I make these comments as a Canadian who follows politics quite closely. From my personal observations (which I know is unscientific), parachute candidate is used more widely in Canadian media to describe political candidates who run in areas they don't live in to increase their chances of getting elected. Here's a recent article where a candidate was referred to as a parachute candidate. Robthepiper (talk) 23:55, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


There was opposition to the Jews who came over. TYhat needs mention here. Heres some prelim refs [1][2](Lihaas (talk) 11:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)).

Do not add anything from as it is certainly not a reliable source in any sense. In addition to failing our guidelines, it's a conspiracy theory site: the government controls weather patterns, Obama is secretly dying, unemployment in the U.S. is secretly at 37%, etc. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:13, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Copy edit request: Need access to source[edit]

In the "Economic motives" section there is the following:

Foner notes that "joined with the quest for profit, however, was a reforming spirit, a vision of themselves as agents of sectional reconciliation and the South's "economic regeneration." Accustomed to viewing Southerners—black and white—as devoid of economic initiative and self-discipline, they believed that only "Northern capital and energy" could bring "the blessings of a free labor system to the region."

There is a quotation mark missing here. Probably some of them should be single because they're nested. Unfortunately, without access to the source (Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (1988), p. 137. Harper & Row) I don't know how to resolve the problem. The relevant page isn't available on Google Books. Hairy Dude (talk) 12:53, 6 August 2016 (UTC)