How credible is smith's hypothesis concerning monastic inves

How credible is smith's hypothesis concerning monastic investment in agriculture? Use case studies to support your answer.
Smith's hypothesis seems to be that in the circumstances of the 13th century being an age of rising production in which a feudal reaction occurred, the Benedictines invested productively in agriculture and were pioneers of agriculture.
However, Smith never describes or presents his ideas as a'hypothesis' and therefore leaves some doubt regarding what his'hypothesis' is. For this reason it may be more sensible to analyse and assess the credibility of smiths'ideas' concerning investment in agriculture.
A second caveat is that Smith's ideas are not principally about monastic investment but rather about the relationship between Benedictine monasteries, agriculture and the economy.
The credibility of Smith's ideas therefore depends largely on whether or not medieval agrarian life and economy is as he suggests.
In his study of Canterbury Priory Smith cites a number of features and characteristics of the monastery and the economy which supports his basic argument. The fact that the Priory was greatly in debt when Henry of Eastry took up the priorate but managed to clear all its debts by the end of his tenure supports this idea in two ways. Debt would have acted as an incentive to use resources productively and the fact that the debt was cleared suggests that money was coming in.
Perhaps the key point in this period in support of Smith's idea is the rising price of corn, something which the priory had access to in abundance. It is clear that this rise in prices coincided with the transition back to demesne farming, giving the abbeys far greater control over production and use of agriculture.
These set of circumstance suggest that not only might the monasteries like to make a profit from agriculture but were also ideally placed to do so.


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