The Council of Bardmont was convened by the Reman Empire per the Potentate, Versidue-Shaie. The Council was informed that the Princes of Tamriel would have to dissolve their private armies or face the Potentate and the Reman Empire's wrath. It did not affect the situation much, in fact many princes kept their armies, and were subsequently obliterated.
In the 283rd year of the Second Era, Potentate Versidue-Shaie was faced with a disintegrating empire. The vassal kingdoms throughout Tamriel had reached a new height of rebellion, openly challenging his rule. They refused his taxes and led sorties against the Imperial garrisons throughout the land. At the destruction of his fortress in Dawnstar, he gathered the Elder Council in what would be called the Council of Bardmont, after the town south of Dawnstar where they met. There the Potentate declared catholic and universal martial law. The princes of Tamriel would dissolve their armies or face his wrath.
The next thirty-seven years were perhaps the bloodiest in the violent history of Tamriel.
The Council of Bardmont was convened to discuss the problem of private and royal armies. Because they had private armies, the nobles of Tamriel did not pay their taxes to the Potentate, resisted Imperial forces, and raided Imperial interests in the provinces. The Council was convened after a raid destroyed the Potentate's private refuge at Dawnstar. The Potentate incensed convened the Council and declared universal and catholic martial law.
The Council of Bardmont was not very effective, for many princes kept their armies. The council did, however, prevent more bloodshed than what happened, because some nobles took heed to this warning and disbanded their armies. The princes who did not were attacked by the Imperial Legion and destroyed.