Joshua Norton was just this random crazy guy from San Francisco who hated all this political nonsense that was going on at the time and figured he could do the job better at it himself, and thus “The Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico” was born. While he held no real power, the people liked him so much that they treated him like royalty anyways. Any currency issued under his name was treated as real money at many establishments.
One day, he was arrested by a private security force because of his mental health, which enrages practically all of San Francisco. The Police Chief let him go because he had committed no crime, and Norton gave an Imperial Pardon to the guy who arrested him. After this incident, any police officer Norton passed would salute him.