Carpetbaggers 1865

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After the Civil War and the fall of the Confederate States of America in 1865, there were Radical Republicans from the North that went down South to make money. They were called Carpetbaggers. They wanted to profit from the Reconstruction. At first, they had no real connections to the places they went to. Usually, carpetbaggers were middle-class people. They worked as teachers, merchants, journalists, or at the Freedman’s Bureau.

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The term “carpetbaggers” refers to a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a carpetbag. When they went to the south, they bought land, leased plantations, or teamed up with planters in hopes of making money for cotton. Carpetbaggers were welcomed to the south at first because southerners saw them as people of the north who wanted to invest and get the region back on its feet. Later on, southerners saw them as low-class newcomers seeking to get rich on their misfortune.

They wanted to advance the society of the South. Most of them were opportunists, but many were motivated by a desire to reform the civil and political rights of freed blacks. Some carpetbaggers worked for the government. Their poor management was responsible for increasing debt in the south. Now the term Carpetbaggers is used for anyone who moves to a new state to run for a political office and who aren’t loyal to the state but just want to gain power.

http://www.american-historama.org/1866-1881-reconstruction-era/carpetbaggers.htm

One in a series of posters attacking Radical R...

One in a series of posters attacking Radical Republicans on the issue of black suffrage, issued during the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Carpetbaggers 1865”

  1. jtb22314 on February 3rd, 2015 8:39 am

    Carpetbaggers were unfortunately a real thing. They existed in a fragile time in America where people were so worried about their own lives and surviving that they took advantage of the misery of others. Carpetbaggers took advantage of the misfortune of the newly freed slaves.

  2. wanakita on February 3rd, 2015 8:44 am

    I had never heard of a carpetbagger before. I believe that coming to another state or country to succede if wonderful. I personaly don’t see where the problem is for someone to become rich. If they are paying for their properties and respecting their cultures why would they start to make a problem out of north people migrating to the south.

  3. aaronv067 on February 3rd, 2015 9:03 am

    Great interpretation! I just dont understand why the southerners would change their view of the carpetbaggers. If they were first viewed as people who were trying to help the region, what made the southerners change their mind?

  4. Jacob Duncan on February 6th, 2015 8:48 am

    I love the way you described carpetbaggers in this articles, I wasn’t exactly sure what they were or their motive until I read this. They were money hungry republicans trying to scam the hard working southerners out of their money. Great article!

  5. Insane on February 11th, 2015 9:06 am

    Here is a fun fact: Republican Carpetbaggers obtained power and influenced Reconstruction in the South by serving as constitutional convention delegates, representatives, judges, sheriffs and as other local and state government officials.

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