Augustus" military success brought Roman culture out of a long period of upheaval and uncertainty caused by constant civil wars. This political stability increased the prosperity and pride of the ruling classes as well as the military, and helped reinforce the general belief in Augustus as a symbol of the Roman peoples" favor in the eyes of the gods. .
A large majority of the population, mainly the lower classes and especially in the provinces distrusted and resented the aristocracy of the Roman senate. Augustus won the favor of these groups with subsidies of grain.
By the time Augustus took power, most Romans had lived their entire lives during this period of violence and confusion, and so most had no recollection of the old Roman Republic. Augustus was able to twist the image of this former republic to his own benefit by allowing himself only to operate within its constitutional boundaries while all the time usurping the authority of previously popularly elected bodies. None of Augustus" early innovations required any changes to the basic constitution of Rome, and initially, major changes took place in the provinces, away from the Senate, and where the inhabitants were less closely tied to the traditions of Roman culture. .
Julius Caesar's seeming disregard for Roman tradition, as well as its constitution, helped Augustus" cosmetic reinstitution of some of these constitutional boundaries appear more substantive than they really were. .
Although his reign spans the period known as "the golden age of Latin literature", the building of roads during this period seems to indicate preoccupations with trade as well as the territorial integrity of the provinces, rather than the expansion of creative or scientific boundaries. .
His largest road building projects seem to be in the provinces of Spain and Asia Minor which were important sources of grain, wine, lead, and gold as well as olive oil and timber, and to whose distant territories Rome exported its culture through goods such as pottery, textiles, and coinage.