It meant then, as it does now-- that if you are hungry. you are not going to be happy. I don't mean hungry the way you get when you skip breakfast and have a late lunch. You're not going to be happy, or productive if you can't afford to eat.
It was a hard time in the world and the common family has trouble buying food. If all of your money goes to rent and food, then how can you afford to buy anything else?
This isn't an ancient problem that only poor people in other countries have. This is an every day worry for millions of americans.
People are happy when they have food, home, and the time and money it takes to enjoy their hobbies. Just imagine that there are no jobs. You are starving, not just for the day, but all the time. You can't find a job. Your kids are starving.
Someone comes around and tells you they know a way to make things better. Put food in your belly and wine in your cup. You're going to listen to that guy.
hungry men are angry men
People get angry about things in their life. For example, in America people get angry about taxes or gas prices or unemployment. They complain and they moan and they sometimes wave placards and protest boards.
But sometimes it is more serious. Do you know the story of Rodney King. Rodney, a black guy, was really badly beaten up by a load of dirty cops, but a witness videoed it. It was a big court case but a white jury found the cops innocent and said they'd done nothing wrong. The black community was furious and they rioted and smashed up anything they could. There was social unrest, it was very worrying.
So different things cause different levels of anger. Gas prices make you a bit angry. But injustice makes you more angry.
Now, thank all your lucky stars that you don't know what it means to be hungry. Without food people die. And they die slow. And it happens.There are hungry peopletoday all over the world. People with no food to eat are desperate people. Imagine if there was suddenly no food in American supermarkets. What would you do? Where would you get food if there was no food?
Imagine how panicked and angry people would be. They would riot. They would steal. They would go crazy with fear for themselves and their children. Society would collapse. There is a famous quote, "Society is only three meals away from revolution."
Your quote means the same as my quote. Hungry men are angry men. i.e. People with no food will very quickly start behaving in seriously anti-social ways.