Bhikkhu Dhammavihari, Buddhist Monastic Discipline, p33 wrote:It is clear from the evidence relating to the early history of the Buddhist Sangha that the first hundred years of the Sangha knew of only a single body of disciples, more or less homogenous. One does not discover at this stage any traces of groups with distinct names which indicate their partisan loyalties or sectarian teachings.
The Third Council was called at the most 150 years after the Buddha's death. I think venerable's assessment is a bit too rosy.
"The reason for convening the Third Buddhist Council is reported to have been to rid the Sangha of corruption and bogus monks who held heretical views." *
The various notions refuted during the Third Council did not spring up overnight, and one must keep in mind it was at the Second Council that gives us the Mahāsāṃghikas which was 100 years or less after the Buddha's parinibbana, depending how one dates the Buddha's death, and, again, it is rather likely that the issues debated during the Second Council had been brewing for quite sometime before the council.
"If, as is now almost universally accepted by informed Indological scholarship, a re-examination of early Buddhist historical material, ..., necessitates a redating of the Buddha's death to between 411 and 400 BCE...." —Paul Dundas, The Jains, 2nd edition, (Routledge, 2001), p. 24.The Dating of the Historical Buddha