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This is a derogatory term coined during Reconstruction that referred to Northerners moving to the South after the Civil War to seek political power or fortune by taking advantage of the unstable postwar situation. The term is derived from “carpetbag,” a small suitcase, made of pieces of carpet, in which travelers in the 1800s carried their possessions. Today, carpetbagger is usually used to describe a politician who seeks office shortly after moving to the location where he or she is running.