The Vulcan's went from being the most advanced race with the most powerful/fastest ships in Enterprise to being less than mediocre in Next Gen, what happened? when did Starfleet surpass the technology of the Vulcan Empire?
Were the Enterprise era Vulcans more powerful than the Klingons of the same era?
I'm pretty sure the Romulans were so weak back in those days that they used second hand Klingon ships for a while (according to some games I've played) During Kirk's era they seemed to be close to Starfleet/Federation ships in overall ability, then in Picard's era they were suddenly amongst the most powerful races in the Quadrant.
So Vulcans went from top dog to ... well ... bottom dog I guess, but the Romulans did the opposite.
Any reason for this?
I suppose the integration of the United Federation of Planets and their joining Starfleet may have reduced the Vulcan's need to have their own fleet anymore.
Might just be my opinion, but TNG era Romulans seemed to have far better ships than the Klingons of the period.
As far as I remember, in Enterprise their ships aren't shown as sub-par. They're actually shown as a relative quadrant power, and as the show goes on, they become one of the quadrants main powers. As far as the Federation's technology goes, she goes from the weakest to one of the most powerful because of interspecies cooperation. They quickly outpace the Klingons and other powers, and the Romulans likely drew their strength from subterfuge and spy operations.
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In a multi-part episode in Enterprise, they had a remote controlled ship that was capable of masking itself as other ships and it was able to take out several ships in a fight.
The Romulans traded the Klingons cloaking technology for ships when they had a temporary alliance against the Federation. This is not canon though, as the only reason it was (temporarily) written in was due to a fire at the studios during the original Kirk) series The Romulan ship model was destrpyed and the studio working on a tight budget had no choice but to use Klingon ship models.
there are probably several reasons why the Vulcans relative power base fell compared with other species
for a start they are, by political choice, a benevolant and peacful race meaning that they have no desire for military conquest of other star systems
the fact that their entire way of life is based upon logic means that ambition is supressed...not just militarily by technologically in general...and also in terms of learning...there would be no real emotional strive to better ones self
i think it may even have something to do with their relatively long life span compared with other humanoid species...
Peaceful, perhaps, but they still had warships and commandos. If they believed the most logical course of action was to destroy an enemy then that's what they would do, benevolent general attitude or not. Also they were practically at war with the Andorians for a century.
But I could see why their life spans, patience and general caution would cause their technological development to move at a slower pace than most species.
When? When humans started taking over, assuming a disproportionate amount of high-power positions (eg, were not all/most of the 12 starships from TOS era commanded by humans?). Humans--seeing that they were the new kids on the interstellar block--went into overdrive to catch up and become top dog.
Hey, it's what we do.
Shinier than a speeding bullet.
[color=red]I have to agree with you on this, but also it might be that the creator of Star Tek did not want to have them be more advance than they made us thought. But also that pethaps their technology although advanced, for Vulcons is not extremely necesary to have such powerful ships.
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The Vulcan's power base didn't fall. They were integrated in to the federation with the andorians, the tellarites, and humans. yes, vulcans still built ships of their own, but when it came to large scale military or scientific operations, it was the vulcans aboard starfleet ships that did the most prestigious work.
a lot of starfleet's actual advanced technology wasn't invented by humans (tractor beams, deflector shields).
Vulcans may have had warp technology for centuries before they met humans.
One thing about the humans, as mentioned by Q, is their potential. It was greater than the Q. We adapt very fast. The Vulcans, with all their training and brains, were technologically stagnate, relative to humans.