Scalawags: southern white Republicans after the Civil War.
Carpetbaggers: northerners who moved to the South after the war and entered politics.
Origin of term scalawag: Pre-l865: inferior cattle or ponies, vagabond or menial servant, mean fellow, loafer, blackguard, scamp. Use in l87l: "scaly sheep" in testimony by Alabama Democrat before congressional committee.
Treatment of scalawags: criticized, scorned, hated, ostracized, attacked.
Myths about scalawags:
Poor, illiterate north Alabama small farmers.
No antebellum political experience.
Rabid Unionists at time of secession.
Gained few political offices.
The truth about scalawags:
Held majority of Republican postwar state political offices.
Majority were college-educated lawyers.
Many were wealthy planters; all kinds of farmers represented.
Prewar judges, legislators, members of national political conventions, and local office holders were all counted as scalawags.
Both ex-Confederates and former Unionists became Republicans. They did so because:
They recognized Republicans were the dominant political party when they saw the growth of support for the party after Republican victory on the national level in l868.
Some were idealistic, wanting to improve economic life in the South or to improve the lot of blacks.