""Carpetbaggers"" redirects here. For the Harold Robbins novel, see The Carpetbaggers. For the film adaptation, see The Carpetbaggers (film). For the World War II special operations unit see Operation Carpetbagger.In United States history, a carpetbagger was a Northerner who moved to the South after the American Civil War, during the Reconstruction era (1865–1877). White Southerners denounced them fearing they would loot and plunder the defeated South. Sixty Carpetbaggers were elected to Congress, and they included a majority of Republican governors in the South during Reconstruction. Historian Eric Foner argues: most carpetbaggers probably combine the desire for personal gain with a commitment to taking part in an effort ""to substitute the civilization of freedom for that of slavery"".... Carpetbaggers generally supported measures aimed at democratizing and modernizing the South – civil rights legislation, aid to economic development, the establishment of public school systems.The term carpetbagger was a pejorative term referring to the carpet bags (a form of cheap luggage at the time) which many of these newcomers carried. The term came to be associated with opportunism and exploitation by outsiders. The term is still used today to refer to an outsider who runs for public office in an area where he or she does not have deep community ties, or has lived only for a short time.