A user over at MSE flagged https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/455506/why-cohen-macaulay-rings-have-become-important-in-commutative-algebra#question suggesting that it is suitable for MO.

The question is a bit soft (it asks "I want to know the historic reasons behind singling out Cohen-Macaulay rings as interesting algebraic objects"), and is possibly opinion based, so I am hesitant about migrating the question. As phrased it may also be quite broad (though it may also be not broad at all; I'm not really great with commutative algebra).

Hence this question: what do people think? Would this question be something that fits on MO?