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Home > History > Scalawags and Carpetbaggers

Scalawags and Carpetbaggers

This article describes the difference between those considers carpetbaggers and scalawags during and after the American Civil War.



Scalawags and Carpetbaggers were derogatory terms used in the aftermath of the Civil War. Scalawags referred to a group of white Republican Southerners who sympathized with the federal Reconstruction effort. Scalawags were often politically allied with Carpetbaggers, white business people from the North who moved to the South during Reconstruction. Many Carpetbaggers were former abolitionists who wished to continue the struggle for equality, while others Carpetbaggers saw the reconstruction of the South as a political or economic opportunity. Because of the collapse of much of the southern economy during the Civil War, many northerners became mayors and political leaders.


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