From the nineteenth century onward a considerable number of hostile actions against the portraits of royalty and religious art have been recorded. This iconoclasm which, before the nineteenth century, was blamed on foreigners, began to become more common among Spaniards early in the century, increasing with the Carlist wars. Due to their increased frequency, such violent actions against these types of representation, both monarchical and religious, came to acquire a very characteristic social function, becoming rites dramatizing popular support for progress. The moments of greatest violence against these works took place during the Spanish civil war, including burning and sacking of churches and even murders of priests. With the rise of Francoism, the dictator cast the blame on foreign governments, which seems to suggest a generalized tendency by the Spanish authorities to attribute such acts alien forces.