Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming majority of mainstream economists view trade restrictions as a net loss to society. For example, the United States' depression-era Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is widely viewed as having made the depression longer and deeper. As such, it would seem that most successful countries that have used trade barriers in their history became successful in spite of this policy rather than because of it. Nevertheless, a small cadre of heterodox economists insists that protectionism and industrial policy can work.
Are there examples from history of countries that thrived because of their mercantilist policies? I'm looking for proper historical examples at least 50 years old, which rules out "socialism with Chinese characteristics" and other modern successes for which we do not yet have the proper perspective to judge.