Most studies concerning the state have focused on its leadership, apparatuses, structures, and central institutions. Researchers tend to use documents centrally produced, privileging exclusively those originating from the state’s official archives. This paper, however, is concerned with the state in the lands of Tunisia during the modern period, but with variation in the hierarchy of perspective and the parallel between local and central, and observing actors’ representations and discourses. The study relied upon sources made available by the local environment in peripheral regions, which are relatively free from coercion from the center. These local sources comprised special expressions and reflected the beliefs that drive the expectations residents of the periphery have of the state and defining their relationship with it. Residents’ representations of the state develop according to successive historical contexts in parallel to the process of state formation and the level to which it is accepted by individuals and groups. The findings of this study support the notion that there is diversity in the historical processes that lead to the formation of components of the modern state and underpin its legitimacy.