Augustus’ political and social reforms were drastic and represented a whole new era within ancient Roman society. His reforms comprised of traditional Roman values intertwined with new political and social legislations, and although most of his reforms were successful, some also represented weaknesses, such as the moral legislations which were unaccepted across wide parts of the empire. Although Augustus’ political and social reforms were generally well-accepted and effective, a minority were quite unpopular thus limiting their success in some aspects.

The first reforms of Augustus began with the Settlement of 27 BC and proved to be quite successful, although they did caused some disrupt within the Senate. Following the Battle of Actium and his diplomatic peace with the Parthians, Augustus realized he could develop a new system of government with the façade of republicanism to maintain tradition, whilst allowing himself to retain supreme personal power. Le Glay calls Augustus a “political genius” due to this, as he knew he had to preserve the Republic, even if it was just an “outward appearance”. He manipulated the Senate into “thrusting” power upon him to ensure he was not seen as taking power in a dictatorial manner. This then led to the Settlement of 27 BC through which Augustus’ largest political reform was introduced – the establishment of the principate. Through this he was given proconsular imperium for ten years over certain provinces, which effectively made him Commander in Chief of Rome’s legions as most of the army was situated in these provinces. It also meant the Senate would not be able to act in a truly independent manner as Augustus held such military power, and rivals to him would have no power base, eliminating threats and displaying effective his political choices were. Despite how much power the position gave him, Augustus knew he would not be disliked for it as several past Roman..