Deranged Nasat wrote:
A theory I've heard, which I find quite convincing, puts the Expanse in the Alpha Quadrant. The "Star Charts" book places the edge of Federation space as it borders the Breen, Ferengi, Cardassians and Tzenkethi about 50 light years from Earth. At least the first three of these cultures were exploring space by the 22nd century, so why weren't they contacted until the 24th, when Starfleet had roamed far further than 50 lightyears for over a century beforehand? The answer: That way lay the former Delphic Expanse, and to avoid antagonizing the Xindi, the Federation gave the region a wide berth for a considerable time.
The reason I don't like this theory, as someone mentioned above, is that a Cardassian was living on Vulcan at this time and the Organians had studied the Cardies by the 22nd century. (Also the new Trek film mentions a Cardassian drink, which probably was around before the time alteration). Ferengi appeared in "Aquisiton". Also, according to Worf, Klingons once tried to invade Breen. This was in the time of the "second empire", which would denote before the rule of the High Council so, in other words, before Enterprise's time. This would be unlikely if the Expanse was in their way.