Pericles strengthened democracy by creating a direct democracy that had not existed before and by hiring more paid public officials. His policies were intended to make it possible for any person regardless of socioeconomic status to serve in the government.
Pericles began changing Athen's democratic policies and the Athenian constitution as early as 462 when he, along with Ephiatles, created a "vote in the popular assembly." This vote meant that the old noble council lost its power and Pericles used this moment to crate democratic laws throughout Athens.
In 461, Pericles became the emperor and built up the military in addition to adding more public paid positions so anyone that was voted into office could serve without financial worry. Many historians consider this one of the earliest true democracies.