TOS--both TV and film--always left me with the impression that a captain's authority was not absolute but was sufficient to resolve most situations with little or no interference from Starfleet Command. This changed by the time of TNG, as Picard often discussed matters with Starfleet before making decision. One might attribute the difference in behavior to different styles of command, but I wonder if the change was also due to a relative reduction in a captain's importance. There were fewer captain's in Kirk's time than Picard's, so it's not entirely implausible that they would be given greater latitude in handling difficult situations. Having more captains would mean a reduction in the scope of a captain's responsibilities, making the position seem less important than before, something we see during Picard's time when there are many more starships and officers of command rank. But was this change intentional or accidental, merely an effect of how Starfleet of the twenty fourth century is depicted?