In July of 1936, Spanish nationalist troops uprose against the established Republican government. Francisco Franco, a general in the army, took the lead role in what became known as the Spanish Civil War. Franco, in 1937, stated
Our war is not a civil war. . . but a crusade. . . we are not fighting against men but against atheism and materialism. 
By 1939, Francisco Franco’s troops controlled most of Spain, and he established a military dictatorship until his death in 1975.
Franco’s political ideology is known as “Francoism.” He wanted to preserve traditional Spanish culture, utilize Catholicism to unite his people, and promote effective economic reform.
At 5′ 4″ (163cm) tall, Franco is remembered as a strong and effective leader. In a time period with limited television coverage and pre-internet, how did Franco maintain such an effective cult of personality for over thirty years? The answer lies within art– icons and architecture.
- Gwendolyn Leick, Tombs of the Great Leaders: A Contemporary Guide (Reaktion Books, Limited, 2013), 107.