Often, in star trek, one encounters the idea that a defeated culture can rebound stronger than ever before and take its revenge - that this is quite likely.
That's largely fantasy.
In actual history, this only happened when the victors (by peace treaty or similar means, not complete victory/occupation) were foolish enough to let a developed country all but unsupervised - for a rather long period of time.
What happened FAR more often is the defeated cultures either disappeared or were culturally assimilated by the conqueror (Roman Empire, South America, etc, etc). The hardiest cultures only managed to survive during the millenia, until TPTB took pity on them and let them have countries/etc again.
Defeated people only rise again if the victors (or their successors) LET it happen - either intentionally or due to negligence on their part.
In the trekverse, the romulan or klingon occupation policies are MORE than enough to ensure that the cardassians never rise again as a great power - and their resentment forever remains impotent, without teeth.