I'm running a Pathfinder (think Dungeons and Dragons) campaign, and I'm creating a country which has a centralized government that is responsible for many major cities, ports, etc throughout the country.
The world itself is your typical fantasy setting with medieval-esque technology and creatures. Typically in these settings, you don't see a centralized government running a country, but instead, each city is a kingdom of its own, ruled by a king.
I want to make the government play an important role in the daily lives of its people such that the quality of living in this country is much greater than living in other, non-centralized parts of the world. However, the only service I can think of offering on a country-wide level is a form of "public transportation" -- caravans accompanied by country guards that travel from city to city in order to offer safe journeys to merchants and travelers within the country.
What other services could be offered by a centralized government in this setting that would significantly increase the quality of living for its citizens?