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Pericles, democracy as a profession

Power, in Athens, went to the head of the Democratic Party, Ephialtes and, after the assassination of the king, the throne was given to Pericles (460 BC), which he directed for 30 years by the Athenian politics. He was the son of Xanthippus, who had sent the fleet at the battle of Mycale, and maternally descended from the family of the Alcmaeonidae, the noblest of Athens, and the founder of democracy, Cleisthenes. Despite having aristocratic origins, Pericle worked to strengthen the popular component within the State: transferred all powers to the Assembly, where the people could assert their superiority, removing them to the Areopagus, who lost the chance to oversee political life and was reduced to judging the crimes of blood.

Also, promounced the decree that anyone who participates in the Assembly or in the Court as the judge had the right to receive compensation; and, to better ensure equal rights, judiciaries were drawn among all citizens, without exceptions for military and financial ones, which were elective. In this way, even less affluent citizens who constitute the "hard core" of the Democratic Party, were induced to participate more actively in the political life: that of the citizen became a real job, with great scandal of the right-thinkers to which it seemed inconceivable that anyone could take the "floor or speech" in the meeting and make the decisions.

In fact the demonstrations had a strong power of control over that great policy initiative, as strategists, which constituted the highest executive organ, continued to be elected and chosen from among the higher classes (and Chief strategists was for a long time Pericles himself).
In addition, it must be remembered that Pericles, with a law enacted in 451 BC, had limited citizenship to those who could prove to have both parents Athenians: this means that both foreign residents (metics) and descendants by intermarriage were then excluded from political rights.

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